Edinburgh / Texas, 10 May 2022. – Startup AST SpaceMobile, announced it has received an experimental license from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) supporting its US-based testing of the BlueWalker 3 satellite.
The company is building the first space-based cellular broadband network designed to be accessible directly by standard mobile phones, SpaceMobile said. The experimental license allows the space-to-ground testing of BlueWalker 3 in the United States, subject to certain restrictions.
The company is planning to launch its test satellite, BlueWalker 3 this summer. The 64-square-meter aperture spacecraft is designed to communicate directly with cell phones through standard frequencies. The launch is part of a multi-launch agreement with SpaceX. BlueWalker 1, the company’s first nano-satellite launched in 2019 for 4G validation.
SpaceMobile aims to provide coverage in remote and unconnected areas as well, affecting about five billion people. The company has partnered with wireless infrastructure firms Rakuten Mobile, Vodafone and American Tower in this effort.
SpaceMobile is pursuing additional authorizations with the FCC related to its planned constellation of BlueBird satellites, the company said.