PARIS — Satellite-to-unaltered-cell-phone startups AST and Lynk Global are looking at the same end state: billions of existing smartphones communicating directly to satellites in low Earth orbit with no hardware or software modifications.

Both companies foresee revenue-sharing partnerships with mobile network operators interested in extending their reach to places where they cannot justify building cell towers.

Both claim to have one or more received or pending patents on their technology, and both plan to begin commercial operations in 2022 with limited . . .

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