US-based AST SpaceMobile, a company working on a space-based cellular broadband network-accessible directly by standard mobile phones, signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate with Smart Communications, a telecommunications and digital services provider based in the Philippines, on Tuesday, July 6.

Under the MOU, AST SpaceMobile will offer cellular broadband connectivity to the Philippines’ mainland, island, and surrounding waters, particularly to Smart subscribers. The team-up will also allow Smart and AST SpaceMobile to “explore opportunities to extend SpaceMobile cellular broadband connectivity to the Philippines mainland, islands, and surrounding waters” once its service launches.

“Our collaboration with Smart to look into opportunities to offer the SpaceMobile service to their customers in rural communities would allow the company to offer affordable broadband cellular access to the unconnected for the first time ever,” AST SpaceMobile chairman and CEO Abel Avellan said in a statement.

In a press statement, Alfred Panlilio, Smart Communications President and CEO said they continue “to invest in our networks and explore the most relevant innovations that will enable us to continue expanding the reach of our services alongside delivering exceptional customer experience across the Philippines’ more than 7,000 islands.”

“This new satellite communications technology aims to help us accomplish our mission of connecting the entire nation, where nobody gets left behind,” he added.

Listed on the Nasdaq, AST SpaceMobile is building the first space-based cellular broadband network-accessible directly by standard mobile phones.