SoftBank Corp. and HAPSMobile-led Proposal for Expanded Use of HAPS Spectrum Bands Adopted as Agenda Item for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023

SoftBank Corp. (“SoftBank”) and its subsidiary HAPSMobile Inc. (“HAPSMobile”) are conducting international standardization activities related to High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) spectrum at the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) and Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT). Both companies today announced that the Asia-Pacific region common proposal (APT Common Proposal) for HAPS spectrum bands, which was led by SoftBank and HAPSMobile to represent Japan, was formally adopted as an Agenda Item for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). The decision came following deliberations at ITU-R’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) held in Egypt.

When HAPS is operated as mobile base stations, the 2GHz mobile spectrum band can be used, but the usage of other global mobile spectrum bands such as 700-900MHz, 1.7GHz, and 2.5GHz is currently prohibited under ITU-R stipulated regulations. The APT Common Proposal led by SoftBank and HAPSMobile proposes that HAPS spectrum bands be expanded to global mobile spectrum bands outside 2GHz to allow operators flexibility when implementing mobile broadband communication systems that use HAPS.

At WRC-19, discussions on the APT Common Proposal took place to adopt it as an Agenda Item for WRC-23. Based on the APT Common Proposal, as well as similar regional common proposals submitted by the Americas and African regions, the expansion of spectrum bands for mobile usage of HAPS base stations will be considered as an Agenda Item at WRC-23. Global mobile spectrum bands (700-900MHz, 1.7GHz, and 2.5GHz) and related technical studies will be considered by ITU-R under the Agenda Item to consider appropriate modifications to Radio Regulations at WRC-23.

To help realize a world where all people and things are connected by utilizing HAPS technology, SoftBank Corp. and HAPSMobile will continue to conduct international standardization activities for HAPS spectrum bands while coordinating with the relevant authorities in various countries.

About HAPSMobile

HAPSMobile Inc. is a subsidiary of SoftBank Corp. that plans and operates a High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) business with the aim of bridging the world’s digital divide. HAPSMobile is primarily engaged in network equipment research and development for the HAPS business, construction of core networks, new business planning and activities for spectrum usage. AeroVironment, Inc. (NASDAQ: AVAV) is HAPSMobile’s minority owner and aircraft development partner for “HAWK30,” a solar-powered unmanned aircraft designed for stratospheric telecommunications platform systems that flies approximately 20kms above ground in the stratosphere. HAPSMobile has a strategic relationship with Loon, a subsidiary of Alphabet, the parent company of Google. For more information, please visit https://www.hapsmobile.com.

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