US-based AST SpaceMobile, which is building a space-based cellular broadband network, on Monday announced the opening of its new research and development services hub and space technology development centre in Hyderabad
The Hyderabad site, located at Salarpuria Sattva Knowledge City, will host a research and development laboratory, network operations centre and engineering space. It will focus on hardware, software, space-related technologies and operations.
Work is on to launch the satellite-based broadband network India, he said. When launched, it will be through partnerships with the cellular companies. The prices of the services will be `affordable’, Abel Avellan, chairman and chief executive officer of AST SpaceMobile.
AST Hyderabad office opening comes as the company continues to make progress with its BlueWalker 3 (BW3) test satellite. In April, AST used BW3 and everyday smartphones to place the first ever space-based voice calls. In June, AST announced BW3 had provided 4G LTE capabilities, with initial download speeds reaching more than 10 Mbps. Evaluation of BW3’s capabilities for 5G cellular broadband is on, he said
AST technology is designed to expand coverage for wireless companies, filling in gaps and dead zones in their networks. This could help bring cellular broadband services to hundreds of millions of people across the globe who lack access to reliable cellular service. The company has agreements and understandings with more than 35 mobile network operators globally. Deccan Chronicle