SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434) and its subsidiary HAPSMobile—which are both developing a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business to offer telecommunication services from the stratosphere—are also founding members of the HAPS Alliance, an industry association that includes telecommunications, technology, aviation, and aerospace companies as well as government, public and educational institutions. United by a common vision to use HAPS-based solutions to connect the unconnected, the HAPS Alliance works with regulatory authorities and standardization bodies to foster a HAPS ecosystem. Since the Alliance was founded in April 2020, membership has grown to over 50 companies and organizations as of writing.
After its formation in 2020, HAPS Alliance members were not able to meet in person for all-member meetings due to the pandemic and travel restrictions, so general assemblies were conducted online. That changed on November 30 and December 1, 2022, when the HAPS Alliance held its very first face-to-face Member Meeting at member company Intelsat’s office in McLean, Virginia, USA. An online option was also provided for those who could not travel to the meeting.
Over 70 people from 32 companies and organizations located in 10 countries spanning North America, Europe, the Middle East and Asia joined the meeting, either in person or remotely.
In his opening remarks, HAPS Alliance President Ken Riordan said, “Given our focus and technology advancements, the HAPS Alliance is really starting to come into better focus. In 2023, we need to continue the momentum to reach our goals and ensure that HAPS technology is able to connect the unconnected around the world.”
Over two days, members discussed goals for the organization, held working group sessions, enjoyed presentations from new and existing members, and engaged in interactive discussions with leadership.
The HAPS Alliance’s three working groups–the Telecommunications Working Group (TWG), the Aviation Working Group (AWG) and the Marketing Communications Working Group (MCWG)–spoke about their plans and highlighted their 2022 achievements, including the TWG’s Guidelines for Payload Operation in the Stratosphere white paper and the AWG’s HAPS Operation Using Attended Autonomous Fleet Systems white paper. The MCWG noted that its updated Pitch Deck is being used extensively at industry conferences to introduce the HAPS Alliance to new audiences.
What’s next for the HAPS Alliance? The next major event is a panel discussion scheduled to take place at Mobile World Congress 2023 in Barcelona, Spain, on March 1. Information on this and other upcoming HAPS Alliance events can be found here. Be sure to check it out!
An Alliance Working to Connect the Unconnected
The HAPS Alliance’s mission is to eliminate the digital divide and bring connectivity to more people, places and things worldwide by using high altitude platform stations (HAPS). The Alliance brings together some of the world's most recognizable companies across telecommunications, technology, aviation and aerospace. United in the goal of promoting HAPS technologies, the Alliance was founded in 2020.
Learn more about the Alliance’s activities and how to join on the HAPS Alliance website.
(Posted on December 21, 2022)
by SoftBank News Editors