In the 5G race to space, Lynk takes the lead against SpaceMobile
Startup Lynk expects to begin offering commercial services as early as next year, fully one year earlier than its rival SpaceMobile.
Of course, being the first to market is not necessarily the primary indicator of ultimate success. Further, one company’s version of commercial-level services may not be the same as another.
Nonetheless, the fact that Lynk is promising availability in 2022 is noteworthy considering SpaceMobile has been dominating discussions about cellular service from space for the past year.
AST & Science’s SpaceMobile burst onto the scene early last year with the announcement of a $110 million Series B round of funding from the likes of Rakuten, Vodafone and American Tower. SpaceMobile’s profile rose several months later when AT&T said it was considering a deal with the company. And at the end of 2020, SpaceMobile confirmed it reached a “binding memorandum of understanding” with AT&T alongside plans to go public through a “special purpose acquisition” while raising $230 million.
SpaceMobile expects its “special purpose” transaction to close in the first quarter of this year. The company said it will begin offering commercial service in 2023 across 49 equatorial countries.
But Lynk – highlighted by Light Reading in 2019 when it was called UbiquitiLink – plans to beat SpaceMobile to the punch. According to a report in SpaceNews, company officials said Lynk will start testing cellular services with its first small satellite in the near future as a prelude to a commercial launch next year.
However, the company is only promising “intermittent coverage.”
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