AST SpaceMobile has seen its shares jump after it completed a 5G call from a wireless dead zone in Hawaii to Spain using a smartphone and its satellite. 

The US-based satellite designer and manufacturer has claimed the phone call demonstrates it can operate where wireless networks don’t reach. 

Abel Avellan, AST SpaceMobile chairman, said the smartphone that made the 5G call featured “no app, no special SIM cards, nothing special”.

“With this, we have demonstrated the ability to put 5G in every corner of the planet,” Avellan said.

5G refers to the fifth generation of cellular technology and is built to enable faster mobile data speeds than previous 4G long-term evolution and earlier technologies. 

However, according to research company GlobalData, fewer than one in five mobile subscriptions worldwide are 5G.

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By GlobalData

At the end of 2022, just 1.7 billion people had a 5G mobile subscription, accounting for 18% of total mobile subscriptions worldwide, according to GlobalData. 

The news comes as smartphone providers increasingly look to cover wider, more rural areas. 

T-Mobile US recently teamed up with Elon Musk’s SpaceX to leverage the use of its low-orbit Starlink satellites to provide full coverage to the US. 

“Even in many of the most remote locations previously unreachable by traditional cell signals,” a T-Mobile spokesperson said.