Sky and Space Global has signed a $30 million deal, and then watched its shares rocket up over 30 per cent.

The nanosatellite phone service business (ASX:SAS) has done a five-year deal with an African mobile payments outfit called BeepTool Communications & Integrated Services.

Its shares rose 31 per cent in early trade to touch 21c.

SAS fell back after hitting that 21c peak, but by mid-morning there were plenty of people lining up to buy. Pic:

Sky and Space and BeepTool ran a pilot in October to test the nanosatellite system’s ability to handle financial transactions.

Under the deal, BeepTool will buy “all the available communications bandwidth that is required by BeepTool to fill its commercial demand”. Sky and Space will use the BeepTool messaging app in its communications software.

But the deal will only go ahead if a second field trial, on the original 3 Diamonds network, is successful.

BeepTool will pay fixed payments for end user devices in advance, as well as a per usage rate for the service certain minimum usage commitment, and a security deposit covering advance services.

SAS says it’s the first company to successfully use narrowband connectivity offered by nanosatellites to make a phone call.

‘Narrowband’ means the communications link uses a smaller frequency range, or bandwidth, and can only provide low data rates, such as 56 kbps.

Sky and Space launched its next generation ‘Pearls’ satellites in September.

The Pearls, to be built in Denmark and launched in late 2018, are powered by three metre sun-tracking solar panels which allow 24/7 operation.

Once operational, customers can tap into the service through a dedicated smartphone satellite device or through an adapter. That service is planned to go live in 2020.