What happened

AST SpaceMobile (ASTS 2.25%), a unique telecom company, was having a fine week on the stock exchange. Early Friday morning, the satellite telephony specialist's share price was up by nearly 21% week to date, according to data compiled by S&P Global Market Intelligence. The main catalyst was a successful test of its technology; encouraging preliminary financial results also helped.

So what

AST aims to distinguish itself in the rather crowded telecom field by offering cellphone service not through the industry-standard terrestrial towers but via satellites orbiting in space. 

So it was little wonder when the company's stock leaped higher on Tuesday, following its announcement that it had completed a cellphone call using those satellites. Specifically, the call was made from the company's home in Texas to Japan over AT&T spectrum with a Samsung Galaxy smartphone.

AST didn't hesitate to point out that this marked the first time a cellphone voice call has been made using a connection in space.  

In that spirit, the company quoted CEO Abel Avellan as saying that "we have reached the most significant milestone to date in our quest to deliver global cellular broadband from space."

"While we take a moment to celebrate this tremendous accomplishment, we remain focused on the path ahead and pivotal next steps that get us closer to our goal of transforming the way the world connects," he added.

Now what

The following day, that path ahead became clearer when AST released preliminary financial results for its first quarter. The company said it ended the period with cash and equivalents of roughly $185.7 million, adding that total operating expenses likely reached $43.5 million to $45.5 million.

AST has scheduled its official first-quarter earnings release for May 15.