US satellite player AST SpaceMobile achieved 4G download speeds of 10Mb/s during testing of its BlueWalker 3 satellite as it builds toward the launch of five birds in Q1 2024, a representative revealed.

The mobile broadband test delivered data rates of up to 10.3 Mb/s using an unmodified Samsung phone, AT&T spectrum and Nokia RAN equipment.

AST SpaceMobile noted it also conducted additional voice-call tests with AT&T employees, building on trials in April during which it also assessed mobile broadband potential.

An AT&T representative said the data rate in the recent test will enable basic voice and text capabilities, web browsing, file downloads, access to messaging apps and video streaming.

The next step for the satellite company is testing 5G mobile broadband, a move it is yet to provide a timeline for.

In addition to AT&T, AST SpaceMobile has trial agreements in place with various operators.