Ericsson, Nokia join SoftBank, Loon and more in HAPS Alliance2020-02-24 17:58 by Daniela
A number of major telecom operators and vendors joined forces with Alphabet and SoftBank subsidiaries Loon and HAPSMobile, forming the HAPS Alliance to speed adoption of high-altitude network infrastructure.
Members who have committed to join the HAPS Alliance include SoftBank Corp.'s HAPSMobile Inc. ("HAPSMobile"), Alphabet's Loon LLC ("Loon"), AeroVironment, Inc. ("AeroVironment"), Airbus Defence and Space, Bharti Airtel Limited ("Bharti Airtel"), China Telecom Corporation Limited ("China Telecom"), Deutsche Telekom AG ("Deutsche Telekom"), Telefonaktiebolaget LM Ericsson ("Ericsson"), Intelsat US LLC ("Intelsat"), Nokia Corporation, SoftBank Corp., and Telefonica S.A. ("Telefonica").
The expanded alliance announced in a joint statement aims to secure spectrum and promote uniform regulation and industry-wide standards for the high altitude vehicles, which carry network equipment on balloons in the case of Loon and drones with HAPSMobile. Both systems are solar powered.
Loon has already formed deals with wireless network providers in Kenya and Peru. The technology will not only provide access to high-speed internet in desolate areas, it can also provide connection service in cases of natural disasters.
Meanwhile, HAPSMobile is in the process of testing its drones in low altitude flights in the stratosphere (at around 12 miles above the Earth's surface). Unfortunately, the HAWK30 drone is limited to latitudes of plus or minus 30 degrees from the equator for the time being and cannot cover northern countries such as the US or Japan, but in the future its area of expertise is expected to widen.
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