Softbank and HAPSMobile propose expanded use of HAPS spectrum bands at world radiocomms conference

SoftBank and its subsidiary HAPSMobile are conducting international standardization activities related to High Altitude Platform Station (HAPS) spectrum at the International Telecommunication Union Radiocommunication Sector (ITU-R) and Asia-Pacific Telecommunity (APT). Both companies announced that the Asia-Pacific region common proposal (APT Common Proposal) for HAPS spectrum bands, which was led by SoftBank and HAPSMobile to represent Japan, was formally adopted as an Agenda Item for World Radiocommunication Conference 2023 (WRC-23). The decision came following deliberations at ITU-R’s World Radiocommunication Conference 2019 (WRC-19) held in Egypt.

When HAPS is operated as mobile base stations, the 2GHz mobile spectrum band can be used, but the usage of other global mobile spectrum bands such as 700-900MHz, 1.7GHz, and 2.5GHz is currently prohibited under ITU-R stipulated regulations. The APT Common Proposal led by SoftBank and HAPSMobile proposes that HAPS spectrum bands be expanded to global mobile spectrum bands outside 2GHz to allow operators flexibility when implementing mobile broadband communication systems that use HAPS.

At WRC-19, discussions on the APT Common Proposal took place to adopt it as an Agenda Item for WRC-23. Based on the APT Common Proposal, as well as similar regional common proposals submitted by the Americas and African regions, the expansion of spectrum bands for mobile usage of HAPS base stations will be considered as an Agenda Item at WRC-23. Global mobile spectrum bands (700-900MHz, 1.7GHz, and 2.5GHz) and related technical studies will be considered by ITU-R under the Agenda Item to consider appropriate modifications to Radio Regulations at WRC-23.

To help realize a world where all people and things are connected by utilizing HAPS technology, SoftBank Corp. and HAPSMobile will continue to conduct international standardization activities for HAPS spectrum bands while coordinating with the relevant authorities in various countries, says the press release.

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