AST SpaceMobile appointed AT&T veteran Chris Sambar (pictured) to its board of directors, as the company closes in on the launch of its first commercial satellites for a space-based broadband service over the coming months.

Sambar, head of network for the US operator, will also serve as a member of the satellite provider’s network planning and spectrum committee. The group is tasked with network planning for AST’s constellation, including features and capacity arrangements.

His career spans more than 20 years at AT&T with leadership roles across various sectors such as retail and wireless distribution, consumer broadband, corporate strategy and enterprise business sales.

AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan said Sambar’s understanding of network technology, strategy and global markets “will be invaluable”.

Sambar joined the board 20 June after succeeding Alex Coleman, chairman at New Providence Acquisition Corp

AST SpaceMobile is in the process of delivering five of its first low-earth orbit BlueWalker 3 satellites to a US-based launch site over July and August prior to launching them shortly thereafter.

Activity at the fledging satellite company has ramped up over the last few months. It struck a six-year deal with AT&T. in May to provide space-based broadband services followed by a strategic partnership with Verizon.

In early June, AST announced former Vodafone Group CTO Johan Wibergh joined its board of directors while naming him chair of the network planning and spectrum committee.