TOKYO – SoftBank Corp. (TOKYO: 9434, "SoftBank") subsidiary HAPSMobile Inc. ("HAPSMobile") and Lendlease Corporation (ASX: LLC) announced they formed a joint venture partnership to explore the deployment of HAPS (High Altitude Platform Station) in Australia. The joint venture, called HAPSMobile Australia Pty Ltd and based in Sydney, was established on April 29, 2022.
The deployment of conventional terrestrial base stations in remote and rural areas in Australia has historically been challenging and cost prohibitive, in part due to Australia's expansive land area consisting of sparsely populated or unpopulated areas. The flexibility of HAPS telecommunications systems based in the stratosphere can enable the provision of high-speed LTE and 5G connectivity to locations that have partial or no coverage from terrestrial base stations. HAPS-based connectivity solutions can act as a means of serving unconnected areas.
Lendlease Asia has been providing telecommunications and data infrastructure services to SoftBank, HAPSMobile's parent company, in Japan for more than 20 years.
This joint venture partnership will explore the feasibility of HAPS deployment in Australia with Lendlease acting as facilitator, and adding value through its understanding of the Australian market, is further testament to the strong relationship between the two organisations.
Quotes attributable to Andrew Gauci, Lendlease Managing Director of Japan and Head of Telecoms & Data Infrastructure Asia:
"Since 2002, Lendlease has been working together with SoftBank, connecting and benefitting communities across Japan. HAPS technology has the potential to truly connect Australia, not only people but also enabling machine-to-machine connectivity anywhere. We are excited to be partnering with SoftBank's subsidiary HAPSMobile to explore this opportunity further. "
Quotes attributable to Junichi Miyakawa, SoftBank Corp. President & CEO; and HAPSMobile President & CEO:
"We're excited to be collaborating with Lendlease, a company with a strong track record and extensive expertise in Australia. With its large landmass, much of Australia is still without mobile network coverage. That's why we believe HAPS-based solutions could be optimal for industrial IoT, emergency communications and other applications in addition to providing broadband for rural communities. We look forward to studying the business potential of HAPS in the Australian market with Lendlease."