Direct-to-device satellite communications player AST SpaceMobile bagged fresh investment from AT&T, Google and existing backer Vodafone Group as part of a cash-raising drive to fund commercial network rollout.

The investments total $155 million and are being topped-up by $51.5 million in loans set to be taken out by the company.

Alongside providing funding, Vodafone and AT&T placed orders with AST SpaceMobile for network equipment to support planned commercial services.

The non-terrestrial network specialist stated Google plans to collaborate with it on product development, including testing its connectivity system with devices running the Android OS.

In a separate statement released hours after the funding news, AST SpaceMobile revealed details of a fresh public offering of $100 million-worth of shares.

AST SpaceMobile claims to operate the “largest-ever commercial communications array in low Earth orbit”, being one of a number targeting the supply of connectivity directly to standard mobile devices.

The operators, Rakuten Group and Nokia were among companies AST SpaceMobile conducted tests with during 2023.

In its statement on the corporate investment round, AST SpaceMobile noted it had “agreements and understandings” with more than 40 operators across the globe, including stc, Bell Canada, Telefonica, Orange, MTN Group, Globe Telecom and Millicom.

AT&T EVP and head of network Chris Sambar said its previous work with AST SpaceMobile had “proven the possibilities that satellite has to offer in helping connect more people via text, voice and video”, adding it aimed to collaborate to achieve a “vision of space-based connectivity for consumers, businesses and first responders”.