Friday, July 19, 2024
Home5G knowledgeSoftBank and the Government of Rwanda have demonstrated 5G NTN Communications

SoftBank and the Government of Rwanda have demonstrated 5G NTN Communications

The key highlight of this achievement was the successful testing on 17 October of SoftBank’s proprietary 5G communications payload, which was deployed in the stratosphere aboard a solar-powered High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) prototype.

Notably, this marks the world’s first public announcement of 5G connectivity being delivered from a HAPS UAV in the stratosphere. SoftBank’s stratosphere-ready communications payload demonstrated its capabilities by providing continuous 5G connectivity for approximately 73 minutes while soaring at a maximum altitude of 16.9 kilometers.

It performed admirably even in the face of challenging atmospheric conditions. During the test, this stratospheric 5G communications payload facilitated a seamless 5G-based Zoom video call between a smartphone located at the test site in Rwanda and SoftBank team members situated in Japan.

This successful demonstration has paved the way for further collaboration between SoftBank and the Government of Rwanda. They will be jointly exploring potential applications of HAPS technology and its commercial implementation in Rwanda, as well as other regions across Africa. One of the key areas of focus will be the digitalization of schools and communities in remote areas lacking Internet connectivity.

Expressing his enthusiasm about this milestone, Junichi Miyakawa, the President & CEO of SoftBank, stated, “I am thrilled that our 5G payload performed in the stratosphere far beyond our expectations. This test marks an important step forward in our aim of bridging the digital divide with HAPS and other NTN solutions. We are grateful to the Government of Rwanda for their unwavering support and look forward to working with them to study use cases for commercial implementation.”

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