HAPS Members Meet to Share a Year of Successes 

By Matthew Nicholson, HAPS Alliance Marketing and Communications Working Group Chair

2022 has been an exciting year for the HAPS Alliance. Not only have we made important strides forward, we also rounded out our third year with our first hybrid all-members meeting where we had the opportunity to connect in person.

On November 30th and December 1st, 2022, nearly thirtymember companies gathered from around the world at HAPS Alliance member Intelsat’s office in McLean, Virginia, and online.

Over two days, we discussed leadership’s 2023 “North Star” goals for the organization, held working group sessions, enjoyed presentations from new and existing members, and engaged in informative leadership discussions. The overwhelming sense from the sessions was that there is a lot to do, but that we’ve made some excellent progress this year.

“Given our focus and technology advancements, the Alliance is really starting to come into better focus,” said Ken Riordan, president of the HAPS Alliance and principal architect at Nokia America. “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.”

We want to thank Intelsat for allowing us to use their facilities and our special guests from RAIN Research Group who presented on the new HAPS ecosystem landscape and the HAPS market momentum.

Achievements and Next Steps

Telecommunications Working Group (TWG)

TWG Vice Chair Shiro Fukumoto (of HAPSMobile and SoftBank Corp.) and Chair Jaroslav Holiš (Deutsche Telekom AG) shared the progress made on international standards and regulations in 2022, including their contributions to the International Telecommunication Union (ITU).

In terms of HAPS payload specification guidance, the team developed the stratospheric environment specifications and test method and recently published the white paper entitled, “Guidelines for Payload Operation in the Stratosphere.” In 2023, the TWG will be developing new white papers for the promotion of HAPS and will continue to contribute to international standards and regulatory organization activities.

Aviation Working Group (AWG)

AWG Vice Chair Stephanie Luongo (Sceye) walked us through the achievements of the AWG in 2022 including a presentation at the World ATM Congress based on the “From the Stratosphere and Beyond — the HAPS Alliance is Connecting the Unconnected” white paper. The group was also featured in the Air Traffic Control Association (ATCA) Journal summer edition in an article on collective risk analysis.

Looking ahead, the AWG will be participating in a variety of global bodies and developing new white papers, with the goal of fostering a collaborative traffic management ecosystem for the stratosphere.

Marketing Communications Working Group (MCWG)

Like the other working groups, the MCWG strives to communicate and educate audiences about the advantages of HAPS, but the MCWG primarily focuses on MNOs, regulators, media and analysts. MCWG Chair Matthew Nicholson (HAPSMobile and SoftBank Corp.) reviewed the work done by his team this year.

The MCWG provided support for HAPS Alliance presentations at industry events like the Living Planet Symposium, the 6G Symposium, and the Connecting the World from the Skies conference; amplified the GSMA HAPS white paper and publicized the AWG and TWG white papers; and published a new pitch deck, member spotlight, event and keynote recap blogs on the website.

Coming in 2023, their objectives include further development of the messaging and positioning of HAPS and support of HAPS Alliance achievements and news.

Reaching for Higher Goals in 2023

There is massive potential in HAPS technology for an incredible variety of communication industries and scenarios. But there is still more to be done to develop use cases, provide proofs of concept, harmonize regulatory frameworks and show the commercialization potential.

With the new year approaching, the HAPS Alliance is excited to welcome more forward-thinking organizations that are ready to help shape the future of communications technology.

By joining our membership initiatives, including working groups and member-only meetings, you’ll get an opportunity to collaborate with HAPS Alliance members working on technology components and use cases that are enabling a smarter, sustainable, more equitable world. Join us and learn more by visiting our membership page.