AST SpaceMobile is the firm that is creating the first and only space-based cellular broadband network. Nokia has announced that they have signed a five-year deal with AST SpaceMobile for 5G service. This network will be accessible directly by normal 4G or 5G mobile devices.
In accordance with the terms of the agreement, Nokia and AST SpaceMobile will collaborate toward the realization of their shared goal of extending universal coverage and connecting underserved communities all over the world. Following the launch of AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite in the latter half of this year, mobile network providers located on all six continents will participate in worldwide testing.
The objective of AST SpaceMobile is to eradicate the connectivity gaps that currently affect more than five billion mobile customers around the world and to offer cellular broadband to almost half of the population of the world who are still unconnected. Because of their approach, subscribers who live in areas that are not covered by cellular service will be able to gain access to broadband speeds without having to make an investment in specialized hardware. Additionally, for the first time ever, subscribers will be able to roam from land networks to space networks. AST SpaceMobile has engaged in agreements and understandings with mobile network operators as a result of its interactions with those mobile network operators. These mobile network operators provide service to a total of more than 1.8 billion cellular consumers.
AST SpaceMobile plans to use equipment manufactured by Nokia called AirScale Single RAN in order to become capable of delivering mobile services to new and existing subscribers in areas that are not currently served by terrestrial communication networks. This includes linking devices all across the world whether they are on land, in the air, or at sea. The technology that Nokia will provide comes from its extensive and energy-efficient AirScale portfolio. This includes the company’s AirScale base stations, which are powered by the most recent generation of Nokia’s ReefShark System-on-Chip (SoC) chipsets. AST SpaceMobile will be able to take advantage of Nokia’s modular baseband plug-in cards, which are able to expand capacity precisely where it is required, providing both flexibility and efficiency. In addition to this, Nokia will supply its NetAct solution for managing the network and ensuring that daily operations run well, in addition to providing optimization and technical support services.
From the beginning through the middle of September, AST SpaceMobile intends to launch its BlueWalker 3 satellite from Cape Canaveral in Florida for testing purposes. BlueWalker 3 is a satellite that is designed to communicate directly with cellular devices using 3GPP standard frequencies. The satellite is in a low Earth orbit and has an aperture that is approximately 64 square meters (693 square feet) in size. In the long run, AST SpaceMobile plans to launch around one hundred satellites in order to provide extensive mobile coverage over the globe.
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