Lynk Global successfully deployed two more satellites as part of a plan to launch a phone connectivity service, despite the target for availability being pushed from December 2022 to April.
CEO Charles Miller told Mobile World Livea planned launch and deployment of the satellites in December 2022 was postponed several times due to delays and high traffic on SpaceX’s rockets, but asserted the company remains in a good position to launch a satellite-to-phone service in April.
Miller has maintained Lynk Global leads the sector, with technology patented in 2017 and space testing commenced in 2019.
While some competitors are targeting newer premium smartphones, Lynk Global’s service is designed to work across 2G, 4G LTE and 5G. It’s also compatible with 3G, but Miller noted the world was migrating away from the technology.
Miller noted a recent “announcement by Iridium and Qualcomm is a really big deal and further validation for us”.
He expects Samsung and possibly Google and Motorola to announce premium Android devices compatible with the service.
“The price is going to be really expensive and it’s only going to be for those who can afford to pay a lot per message.”
“You need much more capacity to bring the price down to where it’s affordable for everybody else. We can bring our service to billions of people.”
He also noted Iridium would need to strike deals with mobile network operators, which could further eat into the profit margin.
Lynk Global has signed commercial agreements with 25 operators covering 41 countries: Miller stated testing is underway with multiple Tier 1 companies.
The satellite-to-phone sector has been white-hot, with T-Mobile US and SpaceX plotting an SOS messaging service and a set-up from Apple launching in November 2022.
AST SpaceMobile plans to test a service with mobile operators over the coming months after inking agreements with AT&T, Bell Canada, MTN Group, Orange, Telefonica, Etisalat and Indosat Ooredoo Hutchison.
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