AT&T is helping complete the first space voice call made with a regular smartphone
File it as one of the greatest achievements in telecommunications history since Alexander Graham Bell made the first phone call in 1876. AST SpaceMobile, a company building the first space-based cellular broadband network accessible directly from regular cell phones, Announce This week it successfully completed the first two-way voice call directly to unmodified smartphones using its own satellite technology. The company used its own technology and the BlueWalker 3 satellite to complete a direct voice connection from space to an everyday mobile device. To be more precise, AST SpaceMobile engineers made the first voice call from the Midland, Texas area to Rakuten's Japans AT&T spectrum using a Samsung Galaxy S22 unmodified smartphone.
"Achieving what many once thought impossible, we have reached the most important milestone yet today in our quest to deliver global cellular broadband from space. While we take some time to celebrate this huge achievement, we remain focused on the path ahead and the key next steps that bring us closer to our goal of transforming the way the world is connectedsaid Abel Avellan, President and CEO of AST SpaceMobile.
This would not have been possible without the help of AST SpaceMobile's BlueWaker 3 satellite, the largest commercial communications array deployed in low Earth orbit. Apart from the fact that this is a significant achievement in itself, it is also the first step towards providing 2G, 3G, 4G LTE and 5G space broadband worldwide.
"AT&T's legacy began with the birth of the telephone 147 years ago and continued with many other firsts including: intercontinental calling, overseas calling, calling from moon and partnering to deliver the unique network built with and for America's first responders. We are connecting people with greater possibilities and this major milestone with the AST SpaceMobile is a big step and we look forward to seeing what is next in our space journeysaid Chris Sambar, AT&T's network chief.
Also, thanks to additional tests and measurements on the smartphone and uplink and download signal strength, AST SpaceMobile engineers were able to confirm the ability to support cellular broadband speeds and 4G LTE / 5G Waveforms.