Companies

Description

AST SpaceMobile is a publicly traded satellite designer and manufacturer based in Midland, Texas, United States. Its BlueWalker 3 satellite is the largest commercial communications array in low Earth orbit.

The company is building the SpaceMobile satellite constellation, a space-based cellular broadband network that will allow existing, unmodified smartphones to connect to satellites in areas with coverage gaps.

History

AST SpaceMobile was founded in May 2017 by Abel Avellan as AST & Science LLC. Avellan remains the chairman and chief executive officer of the company. Originally from Venezuela, Avellan is a United States citizen who previously worked for Swedish telecommunications conglomerate Ericsson.

AST & Science purchased a controlling interest in NanoAvionics, a Lithuanian satellite manufacturing company, on March 6, 2018.

In March 2020, AST & Science LLC announced a round of investment, led by Vodafone and Rakuten, that raised $110 million for the company. Samsung Next, American Tower, and Cisneros also participated in that Series B investment.

New Providence, a special-purpose acquisition company, announced in April 2021 that its shareholders had approved a proposal to form AST SpaceMobile in a business combination with AST & Science LLC. AST SpaceMobile began to trade on the Nasdaq in the week after that announcement. New Providence had raised $230 million in its September 2019 initial public offering.

AST SpaceMobile does not expect to begin generating revenue until the company launches its operational satellites. The mobile network operators with whom the company has agreements and understandings collectively serve over 1.8 billion existing subscribers.

In July 2022, Nokia announced that it had won a five-year 4G and 5G deal from AST SpaceMobile.

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