HAPS backers highlight untapped commercial potential - Mobile World Live

HAPS backers highlight untapped commercial potential

30 APR 2020

High altitude platform systems (HAPS) hold the potential to unlock billions of dollars-worth of untapped commercial opportunities spanning telecoms, weather forecasting and earth monitoring, vendors and aerospace industry players claimed.

In a white paper, Loon; Airbus Defence and Space; HAPSMobile; Intelsat; and Nokia highlighted opportunities around 5G, IoT and connectivity in disaster situations as key areas of opportunity for the telecoms sector. The companies, all members of the recently-formed HAPS Alliance, also reiterated the approach could help to bridge digital divides, by delivering services in hard-to-reach regions of the world.

They noted HAPS systems operate in the earth’s stratosphere, an area long-deemed unsuitable for commercial operations. But advances in technology had delivered aircraft which can withstand the harsh conditions encountered, making it “ripe for commercial activity”.

In a statement, Loon CEO Alastair Westgarth said the revenue opportunities are “immense”, highlighting advances in HAPS technology over the past ten years mean the stratosphere now offers “a wide range of commercial” opportunities.

Kathrin Buvac, Nokia Enterprise president added: “Enhanced LTE wireless networking today, and 5G tomorrow will deliver major economic and societal benefits to communities in remote and challenging environments.”

Loon recently gained clearance to begin commercial operation of a HAPS system along with Telkom Kenya, aiming to offer 4G service to people living in rural and mountainous areas of the country.

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Manny Pham

Manny joined Mobile World Live in September 2019 as a reporter based in London. He has previous experience in telecoms having worked for B2B publication Mobile News for three years where he climbed up to the position of Features Editor....

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