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Vodafone’s collaboration with AST SpaceMobile and what it means for customers

16 Feb 2022Technology news
1 minute read

AST SpaceMobile, in collaboration with Vodafone, is building the first space-based mobile network to connect directly with standard mobile phones without the need for specialised equipment.

An initial phase of AST SpaceMobile would cover the 49 largest countries in the equatorial regions, including a number of markets where we operate in Africa, subject to regulatory approval.

Johan Wibergh, Chief Technology Officer at Vodafone, explains why we partnered with AST SpaceMobile and what it could mean for our customers in the future:

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Enabling a digital society that is inclusive for all

Our purpose as a company is to ensure that everyone has access to the benefits of a digital society, no matter where they are in the world.

We already operate leading mobile networks across our markets in Africa. AST SpaceMobile would enable us to extend that connectivity by providing universal mobile coverage to rural areas across the continent.  SpaceMobile could also enable us to provide instant communications in the event of natural or humanitarian disasters.

What makes SpaceMobile different from other space-based networks?

AST SpaceMobile plans to be the first space-based network to connect standard mobile phones at broadband speeds. Devices would switch between space and ground-based networks automatically, effectively eliminating coverage gaps and ensuring customers can stay connected on the move.

Inside AST SpaceMobile’s Texas headquarters

Inside AST SpaceMobile’s Texas headquarters

What areas will AST SpaceMobile cover?

AST SpaceMobile plans to offer near-global coverage, including key equatorial markets. The equatorial phase would see 20 satellites launched to enable access to connectivity across a region of Africa where approximately 1.6 billion people live. This phase of service would target an area north and south of the equator, including rural and remote areas of a number of markets where we operate. 

  • Innovation
  • Africa
  • Connectivity
  • Partnerships
  • SDGs
  • Technology
  • Services
  • Smartphone

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