Stratospheric Platforms Ltd working with Deutsche Telekom AG (“DT”), its largest shareholder, technology partner and launch customer, is pleased to announce the world’s first successful demonstration of high speed LTE/4G data and voice connectivity via a remotely piloted aircraft operating in the stratosphere and integrated into DT’s live terrestrial network.
Stratospheric Platforms is developing a hydrogen fuel-cell powered, long-endurance platform, communications payload and related infrastructure that will operate as a telecoms mast in the stratosphere. The platform will deliver high-quality 4G and 5G ubiquitous coverage, more cost-effectively to users than is possible with current terrestrial mast solutions. The services will be operated alongside, and fully integrated with existing terrestrial communications networks, and can also be used to deliver rural broadband connectivity and greenfield mobile network services in unserved areas.
The demonstration carried out by DT was performed in Bavaria using a H3Grob 520 aircraft – a remotely piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operating in the low stratosphere at an altitude of 45,000ft (c. 14km) – and a LTE antenna, with architecture compatible with 5G standalone delivered signals, to user equipment at the 2.1 GHz frequency band. A Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call, video call, data call, and video streaming were demonstrated on a standard smartphone and linked into the DT terrestrial live network. The stratospheric test demonstrated download speeds of 70Mbps and upload speeds of 23Mbps over a 10 MHz bandwidth.
Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer of Stratospheric Platforms Limited, commented:
“Today is the worldwide unveiling of Stratospheric Platforms and our journey to revolutionise the telecoms experience for many poorly-served customers around the world. We have operated quietly for the last five years to ensure that we significantly de-risked the key technologies before revealing the company to the world. Our lead partner Deutsche Telekom, has now completed a world’s first proof of concept trial on our behalf using LTE/4G telecoms services and we are looking forward to demonstrating our 5G antenna which will shortly be ready for stratospheric flight testing. We will be working with our partners and others over the next few years to bring this to operational deployment around 2024 with key benefits that distinguish our solution from all other competition and a significant cost advantage, which allows the telecommunication companies to provide users, wherever they are, with a unparalleled high quality customer experience.”
Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, member of Stratospheric Platform’s Board for Deutsche Telekom and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Funkturm:
“We are thrilled to be working with Stratospheric Platforms to realise our vision of connectivity from the sky. SPL’s unique technology will enable us to deliver to all our customers, wherever they are located, a true broadband experience. We welcome other investors to join us on this journey to cost-effectively address the challenges of broadband roll-out”