AT&T wants to turn every smartphone into a satellite phone by no later than 2030

AT&T aims to transform all smartphones into satellite phones by 2030 with AST SpaceMobile.

: AT&T, in partnership with AST SpaceMobile, plans to convert every smartphone into a satellite phone by 2030, aiming to eliminate connectivity dead zones. They announced the launch of the first five satellites this summer as a step towards providing seamless satellite coverage across the continental US. The initiative could potentially offer network solutions but may introduce additional costs for users.

AT&T has embarked on an ambitious project with AST SpaceMobile, announcing their goal to provide satellite connectivity to all smartphones by 2030. This move could revolutionize telecommunications by ensuring coverage in previously unreachable areas, thus potentially eliminating dropped calls and dead zones. The partnership, solidified by a commercial agreement, aims to deploy the first of five commercial satellites into low-Earth orbit this summer, with AT&T's network head, Chris Sambar, joining AST's board to closely oversee the development of this technology.

The project began making significant strides last year when the partners successfully completed their first satellite phone call from Texas to Tokyo using an unmodified Samsung Galaxy S22, followed by tests on text and video communications. This initiative stands as part of a broader trend in the telecom industry, with companies like SpaceX and T-Mobile also developing similar technologies. However, while AT&T's network promises extensive coverage and reliability, it hints at a pricing strategy that could impose additional financial burdens on consumers, though exact pricing details remain unclear.

As AT&T and AST SpaceMobile progress toward their 2030 goal, they face challenges and opportunities in transforming satellite communication accessibility. The collaboration is not only a technical endeavor but also a strategic move likely impacting service costs. Consumers could benefit from enhanced connectivity, albeit at a potential premium, suggesting a need for regulations and competitive pricing to ensure broad and equitable access to such groundbreaking technology.