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AT&T-backed satellite can pick up regular phone signals from space

An image depicting The BlueWalker 3 satellite above the Earth.
Image: AST SpaceMobile

A groundbreaking phone call between Texas and Japan has occurred that could eventually help set the stage for a globally accessible space-based cellular network. AST SpaceMobile — a Texas-based satellite manufacturer — announced on Tuesday that it had successfully routed an audio call between two standard smartphones directly through its BlueWalker 3 (BW3) satellite in low Earth orbit, a breakthrough that could improve global cellular connectivity in remote regions without access to cell towers.

AST SpaceMobile claims this is “the first time anyone has ever achieved a direct voice connection from space to everyday cellular devices.” The phone call was made from an unmodified Samsung Galaxy S22 in Midland, Texas, using mobile spectrum…

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