Rwanda works with HAPSMobile high altitude UAS to expand internet connectivity

Rwanda’s Ministry of ICT and Innovation has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with HAPSMobile to conduct a Joint Research Project to study the use of High Altitude Platform Stations (HAPS) to provide mobile Internet connectivity in Rwanda.

As part of the joint project, the parties plan to conduct demonstration flights using HAPSMobile’s solar powered unmanned aircraft system (UAS) in Rwanda to provide 4G/5G Internet connectivity. The results of the JRP will be used to guide discussions between HAPSMobile and MINICT on potential commercial services in Rwanda and other African countries.

Junichi Miyakawa, Representative Director & CTO of SoftBank Corp., and also President & CEO of HAPSMobile, commented: “Our mission at HAPSMobile is to bridge the digital divide and revolutionize mobile networks by leveraging HAPS. We are very pleased and encouraged that we can work with the Rwandan government, a leading technological power in Africa, to study how our HAPS solution can be used to reach remote communities and enable better access to information. We look forward to working with the Ministry of ICT and Innovation on this research project so we can study potential commercial applications in Rwanda, and beyond.”

Paula Ingabire, Minister of ICT and Innovation of the Republic of Rwanda, said: “We enthusiastically welcome HAPSMobile, a SoftBank Corp. subsidiary, to do business in Rwanda. This joint R&D project is well aligned with our government’s vision of becoming a Proof of Concept Nation and we commit to supporting it towards fruition. This project will contribute to Rwanda’s utmost goal to bridge the digital divide and increase digital inclusion, not only in Rwanda but also across our region.”

(Image: NASA, Carla Thomas)

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