Smart, AST SpaceMobile partner for ‘cell site in the sky’
AST SpaceMobile Inc. has signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Smart Communications for plans to extend the former’s cellular broadband connectivity to the Philippines.
AST SpaceMobile is a company that is building the first and only global broadband cellular network in space. Under the MoU, AST SpaceMobile will seek to offer cellular broadband network coverage to approximately 70 million Smart subscribers following the execution of definitive agreements and the successful launch of the SpaceMobile service. Through this technology, Smart’s mobile customers in far-flung areas would be able to access high-speed internet using ordinary smartphones through the use of low-earth orbit (LEO) satellites –a first in the Philippines.
“This innovative space-based cellular broadband communication connects directly to our cellphones; no special device is needed. As a supplement to our mobile coverage, this can fill the gap in providing our services to the deepest rural and remote areas in the country, so our customers can remain connected,” said Mario G Tamayo, Head of Technology at PLDT and Smart.
“Our collaboration with Smart to look into opportunities to offer the SpaceMobile service to their customers in rural communities would allow the company to offer affordable broadband cellular access to the unconnected for the first time ever,” said Abel Avellan, Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile. “With this MoU, we have entered into agreements and understandings with mobile network operators which collectively cover approximately 1.4 billion mobile subscribers.”
“This collaboration between Smart and AST SpaceMobile strongly supports this vision, as we continue to invest in our networks and explore the most relevant innovations that will enable us to continue expanding the reach of our services alongside delivering exceptional customer experience across the Philippines’ more than 7,000 islands,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO. “This new satellite communications technology aims to help us accomplish our mission of connecting the entire nation, where nobody gets left behind.”
Source: AST SpaceMobile