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Deutsche Telekom tests mobile antenna in the stratosphere

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HomeLatest Platform NewsMobile & InfrastructureDeutsche Telekom tests mobile antenna in the stratosphere

Deutsche Telekom has tested a aerial base channel in the earth’s stratosphere, it said on Monday, hoping to deliver mobile coverage to remote regions that ground-based networks don’t attain.

The German telecoms team and its partner, UK start-up Stratospheric Platforms, stated a remotely piloted airplane flying at 14,000 meters had successfully joined with its terrestrial 4G network in an on-board antenna.

The airborne base station, which can cover an area up to 140 km around, managed video and voice calls, data downloads and web browsing from a smartphone user on the ground during trial flights this month.

“A stratospheric network can help reach areas that have been difficult to supply up to now.”

Hosting base stations in the stratosphere promises the speedy reaction times that next-generation 5G networks need to support innovations such as self-driving automobiles.

However, while airborne antennas offer you a speed and cost edge over airplanes, keeping them aloft poses a design challenge.

Enforcement’s rival Loon venture utilizes high-altitude balloons to operate wireless networks along with Facebook grounded an experimental solar-powered internet drone two years back after finishing it was not feasible.

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Deutsche Telekom’s test flights have been staged over the country of Bavaria in southern Germany with an adapted H3Grob 520 propeller plane because Stratospheric Platforms is still developing its very own pilotless aircraft.

It’ll use an emission-free hydrogen fuel-cell system, which could generate far more energy compared to solar cells. The onboard antenna, weighing 140 kg, will soon be effective at doing the job of 200 terrestrial towers.

Richard Deakin, chief executive of Stratospheric Platforms, said the platform will make its first airport in 2022 with usable installation expected around 2024.

Deakin said he plans to construct a factory that can produce around 200 of the aircraft per year, including that the challenge will be to provide sufficient.

The start-up was founded in 2014 and Deutsche Telekom came on board as an investor a couple of years after and also holds a 38% stake.

Stratospheric Platforms said it had been holding discussions with other potential investors to increase approximately $65 million in a so-called Series B financing round. Funding to date is in double-digit countless pounds.

Partners for its aerial platform comprise Northrop Grumman and Thales. It is also working together with QinetiQ and others in the hydrogen electricity system.

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The team at Platform Executive hope you have enjoyed the ‘[post_title]’ article. Initial reporting via our official content partners at Thomson Reuters. Reporting by Douglas Busvine. Editing by Jane Merriman and David Goodman.

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