AST SpaceMobile named telecoms industry veteran Johan Wibergh (pictured) to its board of directors, as the company continues to progress towards commercialising its space-based broadband network.

Wibergh has more than 35 years’ experience in the telecoms sector and was most recently CTO of Vodafone Group before retiring in December 2022. He also held several roles at Ericsson and currently sits on boards at technology companies including Bell Canada and Cohere Technologies.

As well as being part of the AST SpaceMobile board, Wibergh will serve as chair of the company’s newly-formed network planning and spectrum committee, which will handle features and capacity planning for its satellite constellation.

AST SpaceMobile CEO Abel Avellan said Wibergh has extensive experience in building and operating large-scale networks, coupled with a proven track record of success “in driving growth and innovation”.

The appointment concludes a big few weeks for the fledging satellite player: it struck a six-year deal with AT&T last month to provide space-based broadband services, a move quickly followed by a strategic partnership with Verizon.

Wibergh said AST SpaceMobile’s technology has the potential to eliminate connectivity gaps and bridge the digital divide, “making the world a more equitable place and I am confident that my experience can help the company achieve its ambitious goals”.