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Historic Achievement: Unmodified Phone Receives First-Ever 5G Connection from Space

We are excited to announce a significant milestone in the world of telecommunications. Phones Canada, in collaboration with AT&T and AST SpaceMobile, has successfully completed a call using signals from space. This breakthrough achievement involved placing a call from Maui, Hawaii, to a Vodafone engineer in Madrid, Spain on September 8th. The call was made using AT&T spectrum and AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 test satellite, utilizing an unmodified Galaxy S22 handset. Remarkably, this call was made in an area that is considered a “wireless dead zone,” showcasing the immense potential of this technology.

AST SpaceMobile is developing the first-ever space-based cell network that can be accessed by standard mobile phones. This successful test signifies a major step forward in revolutionizing access to information. Abel Avellan, the Chairman and CEO of AST SpaceMobile, stated, “We have achieved a significant technological advancement that represents a paradigm shift in access to information. Since the launch of BlueWalker 3, we have achieved full compatibility with phones made by all major manufacturers and support for 2G, 4G LTE, and now 5G.”

Avellan further added, “Making the first successful 5G cellular broadband connections from space directly to mobile phones is yet another significant advancement in telecommunications AST SpaceMobile has pioneered. We are more confident than ever that space-based cellular broadband can help transform internet connectivity across the globe by filling in gaps and connecting the unconnected.”

During this groundbreaking call, Nokia and Vodafone also played pivotal roles. The team set a new record for space-based cellular broadband data sessions with an impressive download data speed of 14Mbps. This achievement demonstrates the potential for users to perform various online activities such as web browsing, file downloading, messaging apps, and streaming videos seamlessly using the same smartphones they currently use.

Chris Sambar, Head of AT&T Network, expressed, “These moments are extraordinary milestones in telecommunications history. These first-of-a-kind innovations would not be possible without ecosystem-wide collaboration. We’re all working together to achieve the shared vision of space-based connectivity for consumers, businesses, and first responders all around the globe.”

This successful test marks a remarkable advancement in telecommunications and brings us one step closer to a world where carriers can provide coverage even in the most remote areas using signals from space. Stay tuned for more updates as we continue to push the boundaries of technology and connectivity.

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