In April 2022, HAPSMobile, a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and international real estate group Lendlease commemorated an agreement to form a joint venture that will explore the deployment of HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) in Australia. SoftBank Corp.’s President & CEO, Junichi Miyakawa, who is also President & CEO of HAPSMobile, and Andrew Gauci, Lendlease Managing Director of Japan and Head of Telecoms & Data Infrastructure Asia, were present at the ceremony.
The Sydney-based joint venture, HAPSMobile Australia Pty Ltd, was established on April 29, 2022, to study the business potential of HAPS in the Australian market. Building on the success of its past test flights, HAPSMobile is actively exploring business opportunities in markets around the world with a view to future commercial services.
HAPS has the potential to fill connectivity gaps in Australia
Sometimes called the “island continent,” Australia is the world’s sixth largest country by total land area. Given its landmass, setting up conventional, land-based base stations in remote areas has traditionally been challenging and cost prohibitive.
Since HAPS telecommunications systems are based in the stratosphere, they offer a flexible way to provide to high-speed LTE and 5G connectivity to locations that have partial or no coverage, such as rural areas. HAPS technology can go beyond connecting people in remote areas, too. Junichi Miyakawa, who is President & CEO at both SoftBank Corp. and HAPSMobile, noted, “HAPS-based solutions could also be optimal for industrial IoT, emergency communications and other applications.”
Joint venture builds on long partnership
Both companies have a strong relationship that make them natural partners for this joint venture. “We have a long-standing relationship with SoftBank in Japan that goes back to 2002,” explained Andrew Gauci, Lendlease Managing Director of Japan and Head of Telecoms & Data Infrastructure Asia. “We believe in applying our industry expertise and working collaboratively with partners to seek new opportunities. We are excited to be partnering with SoftBank’s subsidiary HAPSMobile to explore this opportunity further.”
For more information on this joint venture please see this joint press release from HAPSMobile and Lendlease.
(Posted on May 10, 2022)
by SoftBank News Editors