Boldly going where no organization has gone before

Ken Riordan, Head of Product Management, Connectivity Solutions, Loon
Payload jointly developed by Loon and HAPSMobile gets attached to HAPSMobile’s aircraft

Exploring new frontiers is always exciting.  When the expedition requires the cooperative efforts of distinct industries, the adventure becomes even more challenging and opportunistic.  This is exactly what we see today when we look towards the stratosphere: the potential to enable ubiquitous connectivity through the commercialization of HAPS technologies.  Unlocking this potential will require the coordinated efforts of multiple industries, which have had little need for close interaction.  Until now.

Enter the HAPS Alliance.  A newly formed industry association composed of world leading companies from the telecom, technology, and aviation industries, sharing a common goal of accelerating the commercial adoption of HAPS technologies.  The HAPS Alliance seeks to coalesce the views and activities of these disparate industries into a unified vision and voice, to develop and promote effective regulatory policies and technical standards and to build a robust HAPS ecosystem.

Loon is dedicated to the mission of connecting people everywhere by inventing and integrating audacious technologies.  Our technology is based on lighter than air vehicles which operate in the stratosphere.  Each of these flight vehicles is equipped with telecommunication payloads which can collect data from the Internet, and retransmit that data to standard LTE mobile devices on the ground below.  Loon vehicles have logged over one million flight hours, travelled over forty million kilometers in the stratosphere, while bringing connectivity to hundreds of thousands of end users.

At Loon, we are proud of our accomplishments and our leadership in the nascent HAPS industry.  At the same time, we recognize that for HAPS technology to reach its full potential, we will need the coordinated effort of entire industries, regulatory authorities and governments.  This is why Loon, in close cooperation with other leaders from both telecom, technology and aviation has created the HAPS Alliance.  

HAPS technology is obviously very familiar to us at Loon and for the other founding members of the Alliance, yet we realize that for large segments of our industries, HAPS is not yet well understood.  For this reason, one of our top priorities is to educate and to help future stakeholders understand the opportunities associated with the technology and the role of the Alliance itself.  By example, let’s consider one of the main constituencies in the HAPS ecosystem:  the Mobile Network Operator (MNO).  For the MNO, HAPS solutions can drive increased revenue through an expanded coverage area and an increased subscriber base. HAPS can enable greater resiliency to possible service disruption and promote rapid deployment of new services like 5G and IoT.  As for the Alliance, our MNO members are in a position to influence the direction of an emerging and promising field of telecommunication.

They help to ensure that HAPS equipment manufacturers and service providers develop practical solutions to the most important challenges facing mobile networks.  Finally, they collaborate with other thought leaders and stay abreast of the rapidly developing HAPS landscape.

We have laid the foundation of this new and unique industry consortium.  Together, the members of the HAPS Alliance are poised to tackle the technical and regulatory challenges so as to unlock the immense opportunity of the stratosphere.  On behalf of Loon and the HAPS Alliance, we welcome your inquiries and your participation as we set out on our quest to make HAPS a large-scale commercial reality.