AT&T Helps Complete the First ‘Space-Based Voice Call’ Using a Standard Smartphone
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Satellite manufacturer AST SpaceMobile partnered with AT&T to make the first two-way audio call using satellites with a standard smartphone. “The initial call was placed using AT&T’s networks in Midland, Texas, to mobile carrier Ratuken in Japan on an unmodified Samsung Galaxy S22 smartphone using AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 satellite,” reports Engadget. AST SpaceMobile claims to be building “the first and only space-based cellular broadband network.” From the report:
AT&T aims to use satellites to provide global cellular broadband from 2G to 5G. “Achieving what many once considered impossible, we have reached the most significant milestone to date in our quest to deliver global cellular broadband from space,” Abel Avellan, CEO and chairman of AST SpaceMobile, said in a release. “While we take a moment to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment, we remain focused on the path ahead and pivotal next steps that get us closer to our goal of transforming the way the world connects.”
It’s unclear whether satellite access would come at an extra cost. In AT&T’s original AST SpaceMobile partnership announcement, the company couldn’t say whether existing plans would include satellite coverage. […] While satellite offerings aren’t available for consumers yet, this successful test brings widespread access one step closer to becoming a reality.