Lynk Global, Inc. (Lynk), a global satellite-direct-to-standard-phone telecoms company, expressed its appreciation to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for granting Lynk the world’s first-ever commercial license for a satellite-direct-to-standard-mobile-phone service.
This FCC license enables Lynk to launch commercial services for its global constellation of satellites later this year, paving the way for universal mobile connectivity.
Margo Deckard, COO and co-founder of Lynk, said, “The FCC is the gold standard of telecommunication regulators. They have deep technical knowledge and conducted a rigorous review process, which validates that Lynk’s first-of-its-kind satellite-direct-to-standard-mobile-phone service is ready to be deployed globally.” Deckard added, “We applaud the FCC and its staff for using their smallsat rules to accelerate innovation in space. We are honored to receive the very first commercial license for the world’s first true satellite-direct-to-standard-mobile-phone service from such a credible and respected regulator.”
Lynk launched Lynk Tower 1, the first satellite covered by the FCC license, on April 1. Lynk is scheduled to launch three more satellites — also known as Lynk Towers 2, 3 and 4 and Lynk’s 7th, 8th, and 9th cell-towers-in-space — later this year as the company advances toward deploying its global service. Lynk has signed contracts with 15 mobile network operators (MNOs) in 36 countries representing over 240M mobile subscribers, and is actively testing in 10 countries.
Today, only 10% of the world’s surface is covered by terrestrial mobile connectivity. This means that 90% of the planet is in “coverage black spots,” otherwise known as “0G”. 0G is a problem for four billion people. Over three billion people per year with a mobile phone experience extended periods of disconnectivity. Another billion people per year will buy their first phone when there is affordable mobile coverage where they live and work.
This FCC license will also allow Lynk to provide emergency communication services to help people recover from disasters and will save lives. Earlier this year, the volcanic eruption in Tonga demonstrated, as have so many other events, the need for a global “instant backup” system to ensure mobile connectivity, no matter what. Lynk’s satellite cell towers are not affected by tsunamis, hurricanes, earthquakes, fires, blizzards, tornados, or other effects that can damage ground-based cell towers.
Steve Case, Chairman of Revolution (Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund is an investor in Lynk) and Co-Founder of America Online (AOL) stated, “Having co-founded America Online, I understand and support Lynk’s mission to connect everyone on Earth via its satellite-direct-to-cell-phone service. With the FCC approval of the world’s first commercial satellite-direct-to-phone license, Lynk is one major step closer to achieving its goals. Revolution’s Rise of the Rest Seed Fund is proud to back a business that recognizes the value in connecting the 8 billion people on this planet—from both a business and global safety perspective.”
“Technologies such as Lynk’s satellite-direct-to-standard-mobile-phone service are an important part of the evolving mobile ecosystem and will be essential in enabling coverage in underserved geographies,” said Alex Sinclair, Chief Technology Officer, GSMA. “Working in close collaboration with mobile network operators, Lynk’s satellite services will support the goal of ubiquitous connectivity for the benefit of society and business worldwide.”
“Mongolia’s telecommunication sector faces a unique challenge as the country is one of the most sparsely populated in the world. From mountain ranges to steppe prairies, from the Gobi Desert to northern taigas, thousands of nomads live in the Mongolian countryside, and they all require constant and reliable connectivity to the world. Thus far, we have increased our mobile and 4G LTE network coverage to over 80% of the population, which makes Unitel Group the leading telecommunications service provider in Mongolia,” says Bat-Erdene.G, CTO of Unitel Group. “The FCC approval of Lynk’s commercial system marks an important step to enable Unitel Group to expand our efforts in providing the best connectivity to our customers no matter where they are in Mongolia,” he continues.
In 2022, Lynk received the first-ever license from the FCC to provide the world’s first commercial satellite direct-to-mobile-phone service, enabling affordable, reliable mobile phone connectivity.
From the beginning, Lynk will enable two-way emergency messaging, emergency cell broadcast services, and regular SMS messaging on every phone across the globe.
Founded in 2017 by veteran space and telecoms leaders, the Lynk team invented, patented, and proved that a satellite could serve as a “cell tower in space” and connect directly to a standard mobile phone on Earth – a technological feat verified by independent third parties. Today, Lynk is the only company in the world to have successfully sent text messages to and from space via unmodified mobile devices.