Mr. Abel Avellan

Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, AST SpaceMobile

Recognized as a pioneer and successful entrepreneur in the space industry, Mr. Avellan is the founder, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of AST SpaceMobile, the company building the first and only space-based cellular broadband network designed to connect directly by standard mobile phones. Mr. Avellan is the co-inventor of 24 U.S. patents, and his business ventures over 25 years are responsible for the creation of hundreds of space jobs over the span of his career.

As CEO of AST SpaceMobile, Mr. Avellan has led one of the largest new space capital raises in the U.S., bringing in strategic investors such as AT&T, Google, Vodafone, American Tower, and Rakuten to join in AST SpaceMobile’s vision of global broadband connectivity. The company is now one of the top new space companies in terms of market capitalization and publicly listed on the NASDAQ stock exchange.

Mr. Avellan is also the key architect and developer of the technology underlying SpaceMobile’s space-based global cellular broadband network. The network is being designed to eliminate coverage gaps around the world to enable billions to stay connected through their existing mobile phones via 2G, 3G, 4G and 5G connections. The company’s latest experimental satellite, BlueWalker 3, is the largest commercial telecommunications satellite ever deployed in low Earth orbit.

With AST SpaceMobile, Mr. Avellan has cultivated research, engineering and manufacturing communities domestically, which support continued U.S. broadband technology leadership, while adding hundreds of American jobs to the economy. Technology leadership is supported through collaboration with the University of Maryland, Odessa College and the University of

Texas Permian Basin. Manufacturing and supply chain is led from the company’s headquarters and primary manufacturing facility in Midland, Texas. Lastly, the company has also implemented and promoted NASA’s Collision Avoidance Best Practices Handbook to ensure it and others are responsible space citizens.

Prior to founding AST SpaceMobile, Mr. Avellan was the founder and Chief Executive Officer of Emerging Markets Communications (EMC), from 2000 until its sale for $550 million in July 2016. Mr. Avellan built EMC from a start-up into one of the leading end-to-end satellite services companies and one of the largest satellite capacity users in the world. EMC served the maritime and other mobility communications markets, with customers including the U.S. Department of Defense, the U.S. State Department and the United Nations.

Mr. Avellan, a trained engineer, was named World Teleport Association’s Satellite Teleport Executive of the Year in 2017 and was the recipient of the Satellite Transaction of the Year award by Euroconsult in 2015. A sought-after speaker and panelist for his subject-matter expertise in the space and satellite industry, he is a proud United States citizen, originally born in Venezuela and has resided in Florida for the past 29 years.

In today’s interconnected world, access to cellular broadband has become an essential lifeline. But not all have benefited from rapid technological advancements, far too many remain unconnected. We must remove the barriers to do all we can to achieve universal connectivity and accelerate digital transformation. The future of our world is one where the benefits of digital inclusion – from education and healthcare to economic opportunities – are available to all. Empowering by the transformative power of broadband, even in the remotest corners of the globe. That’s the future I strive for at AST SpaceMobile, and my mission as a UN Broadband Commissioner.