The first ever 5G call was made via satellite using a

The first-ever 5G call was made via satellite using a regular smartphone

Satellite communications company AST SpaceMobile, backed by US mobile operator AT&T, made the call via satellite, using AT&T’s 5G spectrum. According to the company, this is the first 5G connection between a satellite in space and a regular smartphone, which does not normally support satellite communications. writes The Verge resource.

    Image source: AST SpaceMobile

Image source: AST SpaceMobile

On September 8, a test call was made using a regular Galaxy S22 smartphone from a wireless zone on the island of Maui, Hawaii, to a user in Madrid, Spain. The cellular signal was transmitted via AST SpaceMobile’s BlueWalker 3 (BW3) low-orbit test satellite using AT&T’s 5G spectrum. The operators Vodafone and AT&T as well as Nokia confirmed the call.

Before this test, several tests were carried out. In April, AST SpaceMobile made its first “through space” phone call over AT&T’s 2G spectrum. Later, a signal was transmitted via satellite in the 4G LTE spectrum that a normal phone could receive. At the same time, the operator reported a data download speed of 10 Mbit/s. According to AST SpaceMobile, it has now surpassed that record, achieving download speeds of around 14 Mbps in a separate test.

“Since launching BW3, we have achieved full compatibility with phones from all major manufacturers, as well as support for 2G, 4G LTE and now 5G.” – said Abel Avellan, CEO of AST SpaceMobile.

AST SpaceMobile reportedly plans to launch five commercial BlueBird satellites in the first quarter of next year. AT&T’s competitor, American operator Verizon, also plans to add satellite communications to its offering through a collaboration with provider Amazon Project Kuiper, and T-Mobile has selected SpaceX, whose satellite constellation includes more than 4,000 Starlink spacecraft, as a partner.

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