ArrowArtboardCreated with Sketch.Title ChevronTitle ChevronIcon FacebookIcon LinkedinIcon Mail ContactPath LayerIcon MailPositive ArrowIcon Print
Inexpensive smallsats are replacing large satellites, presenting a challenge to existing manufacturers.   © Mitsubishi Electric/ Kyodo
Business Spotlight

Asia's mobile revolution puts satellite makers into spin

Low-cost innovation helps Rakuten and other newcomers take on established players

MITSURU OBE, Nikkei staff writer | Singapore

SINGAPORE -- When Japan's Rakuten announced this week that it had acquired a stake in AST & Science, the Texas-based outfit building the world's first space-based mobile broadband network, it brought home a new reality: the satellite revolution is coming.

Designed to connect regular smartphones to satellite internet for the first time, the two companies said the SpaceMobile network would initially offer a 4G connection, with plans to deliver 5G services.

Sponsored Content

About Sponsored Content This content was commissioned by Nikkei's Global Business Bureau.

Nikkei Asian Review, now known as Nikkei Asia, will be the voice of the Asian Century.

Celebrate our next chapter
Free access for everyone - Sep. 30

Find out more