H3Grob 520

Deutsche Telekom and its technology partner Stratospheric Platforms Ltd conducted the world’s first successful demonstration of LTE/4G voice and data connectivity over a platform flying at the edge of the stratosphere and fully integrated into a commercial mobile network.

Beginning of October, several test flights were carried out in Bavaria with a remote-controlled aircraft system at an altitude of approximately 14 kilometers (Flight Level 450) to establish voice and data connections via the antennas installed on the aircraft.

The demonstration carried out by DT was performed in Bavaria using a H3Grob 520 aircraft – a remotely piloted Aircraft System (RPAS) operating in the low stratosphere at an altitude of 45,000ft (c. 14km) – and a LTE antenna, with architecture compatible with 5G standalone delivered signals, to user equipment at the 2.1 GHz frequency band.

A Voice over LTE (VoLTE) call, video call, data call, and video streaming were demonstrated on a standard smartphone and linked into the DT terrestrial live network. The stratospheric test demonstrated download speeds of 70Mbps and upload speeds of 23Mbps over a 10 MHz bandwidth.

“We have shown that we can bring fast Internet and connectivity anywhere in the future. The combined know-how of SPL and Telekom’s mobile communications expertise is the basis for this new technology,” says Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, member of the SPL Board on behalf of Deutsche Telekom and Managing Director of Deutsche Telekom’s subsidiary Deutsche Funkturm. “Particularly in areas that are difficult to access with traditional mobile masts, flying base stations will be a useful and cost-efficient addition to our mobile communications network”.


Stratospheric Platforms is developing a hydrogen fuel-cell powered, long endurance platform, communications payload and related infrastructure that will operate as a telecoms mast in the stratosphere. The platform will deliver high quality 4G and 5G ubiquitous coverage, more cost-effectively to users than is possible with current terrestrial mast solutions. The services will be operated alongside, and fully integrated with existing terrestrial communications networks, and can also be used to deliver rural broadband connectivity and greenfield mobile network services in unserved areas.

Richard Deakin, Chief Executive Officer of Stratospheric Platforms Limited, commented:

“Today is the worldwide unveiling of Stratospheric Platforms and our journey to revolutionise the telecoms experience for many poorly-served customers around the world.  We have operated quietly for the last five years to ensure that we significantly de-risked the key technologies before revealing the company to the world. Our lead partner Deutsche Telekom, has now completed a world’s first proof of concept trial on our behalf using LTE/4G telecoms services and we are looking forward to demonstrating our 5G antenna which will shortly be ready for stratospheric flight testing.

Bruno Jacobfeuerborn, member of Stratospheric Platform’s Board for Deutsche Telekom and Chief Executive Officer of Deutsche Funkturm:

“We are thrilled to be working with Stratospheric Platforms to realise our vision of connectivity from the sky. SPL’s unique technology will enable us to deliver to all our customers, wherever they are located, a true broadband experience.  We welcome other investors to join us on this journey to cost-effectively address the challenges of broadband roll-out”

Source: Press Releases

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/10/27/cellular-communications-from-the-stratosphere/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache. Für die Inhalte ist der UAV DACH e.V. nicht verantwortlich.