Nokia secured a five year agreement to supply RAN equipment to AST SpaceMobile ahead of the launch of the latter’s latest satellite, which is set to be used to test the company’s fledgling service with operators across the world.
Under terms of the agreement, Nokia will provide 4G and 5G equipment, including base stations and related equipment alongside network management systems.
In a statement on the deal, AST SpaceMobile CSO Scott Wisniewski noted Nokia would also provide support in the form of engineers and architecture research experts from its Bell Labs facility.
AST SpaceMobile is aiming to build what it claims will be the only fleet of satellites able to provide connectivity to standard mobile handsets.
It aims to eventually launch 100 low Earth orbit birds and has been backed by several high-profile investors including Vodafone Group, Rakuten Group and American Tower.
Eventually, the company believes it will be able to connect regions and people with limited access to, or no mobile coverage through traditional means. AST SpaceMobile claims to have agreements and “understandings” in place with operators covering more than 1.8 billion connections.
“With the integration of Nokia’s AirScale system, AST SpaceMobile and Nokia are taking an important step toward closing connectivity gaps all over the world,” Wisniewski said.
“In the coming months, we are scheduled to launch our BlueWalker 3 test satellite into low Earth orbit, which has a 64-square meter phased array antenna designed for direct-to-cell connectivity. With this satellite, we plan to conduct testing all over the world with leading mobile network operators, leveraging Nokia’s technology solutions on the ground.”Subscribe to our daily newsletter Back