Verizon Invests US$100m in AST SpaceMobile

Verizon to expand Fios Internet’s reach to 18m households
IT giant Verizon will invest US$100m in AST SpaceMobile, to build the first space-based cellular broadband network and to widen its coverage across the USA

Verizon has announced that it will invest US$100m in AST SpaceMobile, a Texas-based startup which is building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network, to be accessible by standard smartphones.

Verizon’s support of AST SpaceMobile includes US$65m ​of​ commercial prepayments, US$45m of which are subject to certain conditions, in addition to US$35m of convertible notes and contributing to a 850 MHz spectrum. 

Ambitious expansion from Verizon and AST SpaceMobile

Verizon first launched in 2005 and offers internet services under the Verizon Fios (Fiber Optic Service). Fios was the first large deployment of fibre to the premises by a major carrier. It is available in nine states in the Mid-Atlantic and Northeastern regions of the US and serves 7.5mn wireline broadband subscribers and by the end of 2025, Verizon aims to expand Fios Internet’s reach to 18 million households with around eight million subscribers. 

Click here to see where Verizon’s Nicola Palmer ranked in our Top 10: Female Telco Leaders. 

In this ambitious new partnership, Verizon will support AST SpaceMobile to achieve total coverage of the USA. 

Abel Avellan, AST SpaceMobile founder and CEO, said that this new partnership between his company and Verizon would allow cellular consumers to stay connected wherever they are in the US.  

“This will enable AST SpaceMobile to target 100% coverage of the continental United States on premium 850 MHz spectrum with two major U.S. mobile operators in the most valuable wireless market in the world, a transformational commercial milestone,” said Abel. 

Meanwhile, SpaceX is using T-Mobile’s 1900 MHz spectrum, for its D2D service to connect 4G LTE and 5G phones to space coverage. Back in 2022, Apple paired up with Globalstar, when it unveiled the iPhone 14’s Emergency SOS service, powered by Globalstar.

AST SpaceMobile and Verizon partner for nationwide coverage

“Verizon has always been strategic and efficient with our spectrum strategy. We use the spectrum entrusted to us to deliver outstanding cellular service for our customers through our terrestrial network,” shared Srini Kalapala, SVP of Technology and Product Development at Verizon. “By entering into this agreement with AST, we will now be able to use our spectrum in conjunction with AST’s satellite network to provide essential connectivity in remote corners of the U.S. where cellular signals are unreachable through traditional land-based infrastructure.”

“AST SpaceMobile’s news today reinforces the shared commitment to providing nationwide space-based broadband direct to everyday cell phones. Together with AST SpaceMobile we have agreed to welcome another mobile operator in the U.S. to bring in more spectrum and more coverage to create an even better solution and enhance service capabilities,” said Chris Sambar, Head of Network at AT&T. 

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In addition to this, Verizon was recently chosen by The Department of the Navy to provide wireless devices through the Wireless and Telecommunications Services contract vehicle, the total value of the multiple award contract is US$2.67bn.

“Verizon’s inclusion in Spiral 4 represents our understanding of the DON’s sophisticated demands for mission critical communications, developed through our history of digital modernisation partnership with federal agencies including on Spiral 3,” said David Rouse, Head of Verizon’s Defence portfolio. “We are proud to continue serving military agencies under this new contract and build on our relationship with the DOD.”

AST and its partners are shaping the future of connectivity for all.

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