Wholesale nano-satellite company claims successful voice and data calls

Australian-funded Sky and Space Global says it has successfully completed full capability tests for phone calls, instant message, voice recording and image transfers through its trial nano-satellites.

The satellites, launched in June, are intended as prototypes for a full fleet of 200, for which the company is seeking funding. The company plans to be a wholesale operator, working with local telecoms service providers.

The company said this successful transmission operation was completed on multiple test runs over the past few days, using a proprietary smartphone application.

CEO and managing director Meir Moalem said: “Today we fulfil our promise to our shareholders, made 18 months ago. This is a great achievement for Sky and Space Global and we are very pleased to be announcing this news and setting a precedent in the satellite communications industry. After months of hard work we are starting to put our vision into practice.”

The company said that this was the first time that a voice call had been facilitated by nano-satellites. The technology will enable low-cost satellite connectivity in remote locations and in emerging markets that have no access to a communications network infrastructure.

Sky and Space Global is owned through a share listing on the Australian Stock Exchange. The company said it will focus on building its constellation of 200 satellites, which will cover the equatorial belt. It has signed its first binding commercial contract with Sat-Space Africa, a pan-African communications company.

Moalem said: “Demonstrating that our nano-satellites are capable of facilitating services such as sending a text message and conducting a voice call at a very low cost is an important step forward on our route to providing affordable communication services to anyone, anywhere, anytime. Now we have passed this critical technical milestone we can turn our full attention to our constellation, to be fully deployed by 2020.”