06/03/2023 – Connectivity / AALTO HAPS / Stc / Stratospheric / Zephyr / Solar / Saudi Arabia
New AALTO HAPS partnership will bring stratospheric connectivity solutions to Saudi Arabia
Airbus subsidiary AALTO HAPS, which provides services from its stratospheric ‘Zephyr’ solar-powered aircraft for Mobile Connectivity, Platform Mobility, Earth Observation, and Government applications, has signed an MoU to enter a strategic partnership with stc Group – the Saudi digital enabler in the region – to partner on introducing HAPS (high-altitude platform systems)-based solutions to KSA.
Stc Group will have access to AALTO’s solutions, when the company rolls out commercial services by the end of 2024. Those solutions will enable stc to expand its geographical coverage to rural and remote areas currently unconnected, improving the service quality. In addition, HAPS solutions can serve to augment coverage during critical events and can be deployed quickly and easily in case of natural disasters.
“We are very pleased to count stc Group – the leading digital enabler in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia and a major player in the region – as one of our pioneering partners looking into HAPS as an efficient, sustainable, and an environmentally friendly new stratospheric layer of connectivity to improve existing service; and add new reach beyond current infrastructure,” remarked Samer Halawi, CEO of AALTO HAPS. “Not only do our solutions offer a service that saves and improves lives, but they are also eco-friendly and respectful of the future of our planet.”
Motaz Alangari, Group Chief Investment Officer at stc, said his firm looked forward to working with AALTO. “Zephyr has demonstrated a high level of maturity as a HAPS platform, and its innovation and sustainability are aligned with stc’s values and objectives in designing the future,” he noted.
The solar-powered Zephyr aircraft (pictured) flies in the stratosphere, above conventional air traffic, and provides low-latency, direct-to-device 4G/5G services, acting as a ‘tower in the sky’ with the capability to complement terrestrial networks.
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