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Hispasat Demonstrates Satellite Connectivity Bubbles on High Voltage Towers in Rural Spain

By Mark Holmes | October 19, 2021

The Red Eléctrica Group, through Hispasat placed satellite connectivity bubbles on high voltage towers in rural Spain. Photo: Hispasat

Hispasat took part in a pilot project installing satellite terminals on high voltage towers to roll out connectivity bubbles in rural settings. The company says this demonstration will help to bridge the digital divide in Spain.

The company announced Oct. 19, that the Red Eléctrica Group, through Hispasat, the Spanish telecommunications operator, Red Eléctrica de España, the electrical system operator and transporter, and Elewit, the group’s technological platform, carried out a pilot project on the Red Eléctrica’s substation in Galapagar, Spain. They demonstrated the viability of using high-voltage electrical infrastructure to provide satellite connectivity that extends cellular and broadband coverage in rural and remote environments that the power lines run through. The three-month long pilot project verified the proper operation of satellite terminals in the highly unique electromagnetic environment of high voltage towers. In addition, solar panels generated power for the terminals.

Based on these findings, the group is already working on defining a new pilot project aimed at analyzing the viability of this model to create 4G/5G bubbles via satellite on high-voltage towers. Hispasat said this solution can impact daily work in rural areas, such as crop and livestock monitoring and fire prevention. This initiative, Hispasat says, is proof of the possibilities that its satellite fleet offer can bridge the digital divide in Spain and ensure connectivity in every region, including those where other infrastructures cannot reach.