Bridging the Digital Divide with High-Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS)

Only 35 percent of Earth’s landmass currently has internet coverage, leaving approximately 2.6 billion people without internet access, according to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU). To address this disparity, High-Altitude Platform Systems (HAPS) technology emerges as a promising solution, unlocking the potential of Earth’s stratosphere as a frontier for enhancing global sensing and connectivity. The stratosphere’s proximity to Earth offers significant opportunities across various industries, including telecommunications, high-resolution Earth observation, weather prediction, modeling and more.

To effectively capitalize on this opportunity, integrating current non-terrestrial networks—like air-to-ground and satellite communication—with HAPS is considered the most economically viable strategy. HAPS serve as crucial layers in modern 3D telecommunication infrastructure, together with satellite constellations and terrestrial networks. HAPS provide wide coverage, and low latency, and can act as a bridge between the terrestrial networks on the ground and the LEO satellites in orbit, reducing the power requirements of small devices.

One of the most compelling aspects of HAPS technology is its ability to reach remote and underserved regions with limited or no access to traditional internet infrastructure. Whether it’s rural communities, isolated islands, or disaster-stricken areas, HAPS can deliver high-speed internet connectivity where it’s needed most. This capability has the potential to bridge the digital divide, empowering individuals and communities with essential tools and resources for success in the digital age. Companies dedicated to closing this gap play an integral role in the HAPS Alliance.

HAPS Alliance members are a diverse coalition of stakeholders from many sectors,  including telecommunications, aerospace, defense, governmental, academic and more. Committed to advancing HAPS, the Alliance provides a collaborative platform for member companies to interact with like-minded entities and researchers passionate about innovation. Through joint projects and initiatives, the Alliance aims to pioneer new technologies, surmount common challenges and drive the evolution of HAPS-based solutions.

Explore the potential of stratospheric telecommunications with the HAPS Alliance. Join the Alliance to gain research, resources, and insights from industry leaders.