Barclays Fireside Chat – 09/07/2024

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AST SpaceMobile Barclays Fireside Chat 09/07/2024 – Scott Wisniewski and Mathieu Robilliard

General Notes

  • AST expects no more LEO D2C constellations unless completely funded by sovereigns (ie China), due to high barrier to entry
  • Very unique solution to a market with a large TAM
  • Satellite industry is $10bn annual rev vs $2 trillion for cellular (TAM for filling in gaps is HUGE)
  • Large satellite size matters in addition to being the first mover
  • FCC reflagged AST as a US constellation in March indicating a strong endorsement
  • Many separate and distinct markets worldwide
  • Targeting highest revenue markets first – US
  • Anticipate that US may only account for 25% of total revenue in the future
  • Technology is very flexible which will enable different agreements with MNOs and other partners in different markets
  • Initially planning to sell day passes which will then migrate to recurring revenue model
  • AST will leverage existing MNO subcriber base, spectrum licenses, infrastructure etc
  • Vertically integrated supply chain – control own destiny
  • Cost guidance – $30 million OpEx per quarter & $17 million per Block 2 sat in the future
  • UN approval for 248 sats, need 45 to 60 for 24/7 service, 90 to 100 for worldwide.
  • Will grow constellation based on best ROI for each opportunity.


  • Stated no public offerings in 2024 – Abel is very sensitive to diluation with taking no salary
  • Funding through revenue prepayments and service commitments (these can be used to borrow against with ExIm bank – not realistic probably for 12 months/medium term)
  • Google invested to be able to optimize their phones to the technology but will work with all phones
  • Business model is to fund each phase in a timely segmented manner – reduces capital cost as business is derisked. Will be balanced and sequenced.
  • Hoping to access private debt market – not ready for this currently

Block 1 Satellites

  • Final intergration & testing – Still on track for shipping & launch targets
  • Completing vibration testing – one of the final tests
  • Can obtain temporary approval for Block 1 satellites, no FCC approval required for launch


  • FCC Chairwoman has prioritized SCS, attached her flag to it and pushing hard. In final stages of approval, should happen in 2024.
  • At final stages for V Band approval – expect this soon
  • SCS Authority for fronthaul – need to update application in with Verizon & AT&T (expect later in 2024)
  • Very close ties with FCC – Scott had a meeting with them yesterday

Route to Market

  • Each satellite can do just over 1 million gigabytes per month
  • Have capability to sell 100MB to 1GB packages – will never compete with fiber but can compete anywhere without fiber
  • LEO D2C service will never be workhorse, will be a gap filler
  • SpaceMobile is very throughput format flexible for a satellite solution.
  • Vodafone has been a huge supporter, will be some initial service but not sure which markets yet
  • There is some exclusivity with Vodafone due to longstanding financial support – happy with that due to Vodafone’s dominant market positions.
  • MNO’s partnership targeting lowband, probably not a winner takes all market

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