A number of high profile mobile network operators have joined the newly formed HAPS Alliance, in a bid to fast track high altitude connectivity.
Ericsson, Nokia, Telefonica and Softbank have all announced that they will join the HAPS Alliance, as they look to promote initiatives including in-flight connectivity, via High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS).
“The HAPS Alliance is being created so member companies can collectively advocate for HAPS business development with the relevant authorities in various countries, build a cooperative HAPS ecosystem, develop common product specifications and promote the standardisation of HAPS network interoperability,” a statement from the HAPS Alliance read.
“All of these activities will be key to the Alliance’s aim of addressing diverse social issues and creating new value by providing telecommunications network connectivity worldwide through the utilisation of high-altitude vehicles.
“The Alliance, originally an initiative from HAPSMobile and Loon, will have members from participating leading companies across the aerospace, technology and telecom industries to carry out the Alliance’s activities,” the statement concluded.
In April of last year, HAPSMobile (a JV between AeroVironment and Softbank) announced that it would be investing $125 million in the Loon initiative. The HAPS Alliance now boasts a wide range of telcos and aeronautical firms among its members, including HAPSMobile, Loon, AeroVironment, Airbus Defence and Space, Bharti Airtel, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, SoftBank, Telefónica, China Telecom, Intelsat and Nokia.