AST SpaceMobile says it has cracked the code of connecting standard phones to satellites, without needing any special gadgets or gizmos.
In a press release, the firm said the cash injection from the big-name investors shows they trust its technology and its leading role in the new space-based mobile market. It also said it could reach 5.5 billion phones that are out of range of normal networks.
To back up its bold claims, AST SpaceMobile said Vodafone and AT&T have ordered some of its network gear -- but didn't say how much they paid. Google also agreed to work with the firm on making its satellites work with Android phones and other devices.
AST SpaceMobile says it has deals with more than 40 mobile operators around the world. But it faces stiff competition from other players in the space game, such as Apple/Globalstar, T-Mobile/SpaceX, Bullitt and Lynk Global.