SoftBank's HAPSMobile to Invest $125 Million in Loon

24d ago
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SoftBank's HAPSMobile to Invest $125 Million in Loon Image Credit: digitalista/Bigstockphoto.com

SoftBank's HAPSMobile and Alphabet's Loon have formed a long-term strategic relationship to advance the use of high altitude vehicles, such as balloons and unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), to bring connectivity to more people, places, and things worldwide.

HAPSMobile is a joint venture between SoftBank and Aerovironment formed in December 2017. As part of the new relationship and HAPSMobile's financial and investment strategy, HAPSMobile has made a decision to invest $125 million USD in Loon. Loon has obtained the right to invest the same amount in HAPSMobile in the future.

Furthermore, to strengthen the relationship, the companies are actively exploring commercial collaborations to accelerate the deployment of high altitude network connectivity solutions, with a focus on expanding mobile internet penetration, enabling internet of things (IoT) applications, and assisting in the deployment of 5G.

High altitude network connectivity platforms operate in the stratosphere, which is above ground infrastructure, but below satellites, allowing fornear ubiquitous coverage that avoids ground clutter and significant latency issues. These advantages make such vehicles a promising solution for expanding mobile coverage to those who need it as well as IoT and 5G use-cases. 

Junichi Miyakawa, Director & CTO of Softbank, President & CEO of HAPSMobile
Working with Alphabet's subsidiary Loon, I'm confident we can accelerate the path toward the realization of utilizing the stratosphere for global networks by pooling our technologies, insights and experience. 

Alastair Westgarth, CEO, Loon
We see joining forces as an opportunity to develop an entire industry, one which holds the promise to bring connectivity to parts of the world no one thought possible. This is the beginning of a long-term relationship based on a shared vision for expanding connectivity to those who need it.

Ray is a news editor at The Fast Mode, bringing with him more than 10 years of experience in the wireless industry.

For tips and feedback, email Ray at ray.sharma(at)thefastmode.com, or reach him on LinkedIn @raysharma10, Facebook @1RaySharma

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