Alliance Seeks to Expand Connectivity With Stratospheric Vehicles

Several U.S. and international companies that include Intelsat formed an alliance to drive the adoption of vehicle platforms that are designed to operate in the stratosphere and provide network connectivity around the world.

The High Altitude Platform Station Alliance will work to establish industry standards, regulations and interoperability guidelines on the development of technologies to connect people, things and places, Intelsat said Friday.

Other alliance members are SoftBank and its HAPSMobile subsidiary, Alphabet’s Loon business. AeroVironment, Airbus' defense and space unit, Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Nokia and Telefonica.

The group also seeks to establish a stakeholder network, create product specifications, launch base stations under the International Telecommunications Union and integrate HAPS into new commercial standards.

Intelsat noted that high-altitude networks operate below satellites and above ground stations. According to the company, HAPS may also support connectivity in areas with limited coverage as well as 5G and internet-of-things applications.

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