Qualcomm wants to develop direct satellite-to-smartphone broadband links. What’s its view of AST SpaceMobile?

by Peter B. de Selding

PARIS — Qualcomm’s partnership with mobile satellite service provider Iridium Communications is just the latest satellite involvement by a company that remains interested in going beyond emergency messaging to a broadband link directly from a low-orbit satellite constellation to user devices.

In short, it ultimately wants to get to a place that resembles where AST SpaceMobile plans to be in the next year or two with its Bluebird constellation designed to operate from 700 kilometers using enormous antennas to close the link to unmodified smartphones.

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