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Airbus HAPS Partners With Japan’s Space Compass

By Rachel Jewett | November 8, 2022

The Airbus Zephyr HAPS system. Photo: Airbus

Airbus HAPS Connectivity Business has signed a letter of intent with Japan’s Space Compass to serve the Japanese market with mobile connectivity and Earth observation with the Zephyr HAPS platform. Samer Halawi, chief executive of Airbus HAPS said the companies plan to offer 4G/5G low latency mobile services “at unprecedented economics.” 

“Our innovative, record-breaking, green-energy-powered, platform is attracting interest from multiple mobile network operators and satellite and other service providers globally,” Halawi said. 

Airbus launched the HAPS business in July of this year to commercialize service from the Zephyr platform. Airbus sees potential for HAPS to bridge the digital divide, and claims that one Zephyr has the coverage equivalent to that of 250 cell towers and can enable direct-to-device connectivity. 

Space Compass is a new joint venture between Sky Perfect JSAT and Japanese telco NTT working to establish an integrated space computing network, including an optical data relay service.

This collaboration follows after Airbus began a study earlier this year with NTT, DOCOMO, and SKY Perfect JSAT to examine the feasibility of HAPS-based connectivity services in a future space-based wireless connectivity ecosystem.