After several delays, Lynk Global notched a commercial launch of its satellite-to-phone service, with Palau National Communications Corporation (PNCC) becoming its first deployment with a mobile operator.

Lynk Global CEO Charles Miller stated the company’s initial satellite-to-phone offering will start as a beta service offering periodic SMS in the southwest islands of the Republic of Palau.

From there it will be extended across the country’s islands to include remote areas and maritime economic zone, offering “ubiquitous connectivity.”

It will also provide back up capabilities if natural disasters impact ground services.

Lynk Global stated expects additional commercial service launches with other operators over the course of 2023. It holds contracts with 30 mobile operators across 40 countries.

Miller told Mobile World Live large areas of Palau have “zero G” (no coverage) and periodic messaging is viewed as a game changer. The service is provisioned by the three satellites the company currently has in orbit.

“PNCC is a great partner,” he stated. “They are in alignment with our crawl, walk, run strategy”.

The CEO said the service will evolve to offer data and compatibility for VoIP.

Lynk Global patented technology in 2017 and started commercial testing in space in 2019. Its service is designed to work on 2G, 4G and 5G technologies.

It is competing with the likes of AST SpaceMobile (yet to commercially launch) in the satellite-to-phone sector.

GSMA Intelligence noted PNCC is Palau’s incumbent mobile operator with 24,000 connections at end-Q1, the majority of which are based on 3G.

The company is close to being a monopoly, with PT Waves (Palau Telecoms) on 598 connections.

Palau is located in the western pacific: government information reveals it comprises 16 officially-designated states, while Encyclopedia Britannica notes the nation comprises 340 islands in the Oceania geographic region.