AST SpaceMobile Inc., the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly by standard mobile phones, recently signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to collaborate with Smart Communications Inc. (Smart), a mobile services provider in the Philippines.
The combined effort would explore opportunities to extend SpaceMobile cellular broadband connectivity to the Philippines islands and surrounding waters after the service is launched.
“Our collaboration with Smart to look into opportunities to offer the SpaceMobile service to their customers in rural communities would allow the company to offer affordable broadband cellular access to the unconnected for the first time ever,” said Abel Avellan, chair and CEO of AST SpaceMobile. “With this MoU, we have entered into agreements and understandings with mobile network operators which collectively cover approximately 1.4 billion mobile subscribers.”
Under the MoU, AST SpaceMobile will seek to offer cellular broadband network coverage to approximately 70 million Smart subscribers following the execution of definitive agreements and the successful launch of the SpaceMobile service.
“This collaboration between Smart and AST SpaceMobile strongly supports this vision, as we continue to invest in our networks and explore the most relevant innovations that will enable us to continue expanding the reach of our services alongside delivering exceptional customer experience across the Philippines’ more than 7,000 islands,” said Alfredo S. Panlilio, president and CEO, Smart Communications. “This new satellite communications technology aims to help us accomplish our mission of connecting the entire nation, where nobody gets left behind.”