A new trade alliance led by Alphabet’s Loon high-altitude balloon expertise firm and SoftBank’s HAPSMobile stratospheric glider subsidiary goals to work collectively on requirements and tech associated to deploying community connectivity utilizing high-altitude supply mechanisms.

This extends the prevailing partnership between HAPSMobile and Loon, which started with a strategic alliance between the 2 introduced final April, and which lately resulted in Loon adapting the community {hardware} it makes use of on its stratospheric balloons to work with the HAPSMobile stratospheric long-winged drone. Now, they two are welcoming more members, together with AeroVironment, Airbus Defence and Space, Bharti Airtel, China Telecom, Deutsche Telekom, Ericsson, Intelsat, Nokia, HAPSMobile mother or father SoftBank and Telefonica.

The new HAPS Alliance, because it’s being referred to as (HAPS simply stands for ‘High Altitude Platform Station’) will probably be working collectively to advertise use of the expertise, in addition to work with regulators within the markets the place they function on enabling its use. They’ll work in the direction of growing a set of frequent trade requirements for community interoperability, and additionally determine how one can primarily carve up the or stake out the stratosphere in order that taking part trade gamers can work collectively with out stepping on one another’s toes.

This new mixed group isn’t any slouch: It contains a few of the strongest community operators on the earth, in addition to key community infrastructure gamers and aerospace firms. Which might imply huge issues for stratospheric networks, which have some great benefits of being nearer to Earth than satellite-based web choices, but in addition keep away from the disadvantages of ground-based cell towers like having to deal with tough terrain or more restricted vary.

Is this step one in the direction of a future the place our linked units rely on high-flying, autonomous cell towers for connectivity? It’s too early to say how ubiquitous this may get, however this new group of heavyweights positively lends more credence to the concept.


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