SOMERVILLE, Mass., Feb. 12, 2019 /PRNewswire/ — Massachusetts-based communications infrastructure provider, Altaeros, officially launched the world’s first commercially available aerial cell tower, the SuperTower ST200. Altaeros successfully completed initial testing of the ST200 at its R&D Center in southern New Hampshire.
The SuperTower uses a proven aerostat platform, combined with innovative automation and control software, to deploy radios and antennas over four times higher than traditional cell towers allowing carriers to efficiently cover substantially more area than traditional towers. The ST200 was tested with six high capacity Ericsson 4G LTE radios and three high-gain Matsing lens antennas. During initial testing users were able to stream high-definition video at distances well beyond the reach of a typical cell site, even in the hills and forests of New England. Altaeros is initially deploying SuperTowers in partnership with carriers in the US, with plans to quickly expand internationally. You can learn more by visiting www.altaeros.com.
Historically, service providers have struggled to offer coverage in rural areas due to the high cost of building large networks of remote towers in areas with few subscribers. In its 2018 Broadband Deployment Report, the FCC reported that over 24 million Americans still lack broadband internet, and huge swaths of rural America remain unserved or underserved.
The launch of the first commercial SuperTower marks a turning point for modern, high-speed connectivity in traditionally under-served rural communities. By reducing the number of sites needed in rural markets by over 90%, the SuperTower offers a quick and inexpensive path to expand service. It can also accelerate the rollout of new technologies such as 5G and IoT in rural markets.
“There is an immense need for a better way to bring connectivity to those who have been left behind by the current generation of infrastructure,” said Ben Glass, Altaeros’ CEO. “We’re proud to be a part of the solution that will bridge this divide.”
The ST200 is the culmination of over 8 years of aerostat research and development by Altaeros. Designed to work with many different telecom systems from any number of vendors, the ST200 is Altaeros’ largest and most capable autonomous aerostat platform to date, and the first to be made commercially available. Building upon prior versions, proprietary automation and control software keep the aerial cell tower in place in changing weather and environmental conditions and ensures a stable platform for the telecommunication equipment. Multiple tethers connect the aerostat to the ground and transmit power and data to the airborne equipment, which is key to providing significantly greater capacity than other aerial communication systems.
“We’re very excited about the opportunity this application unlocks for both Ericsson and our customers,” said Amy McCune, Head of Customer Unit Regional Carriers for Ericsson North America. “Our customers, especially those operating in rural markets, have been searching for unique and innovative solutions to expand coverage to their communities.”
About Altaeros: Altaeros believes that everyone should have access to the same basic building blocks for a productive, fulfilling life, whether they live in a megacity or in a rural village. We also believe in the power of innovation to make this a reality. Founded at MIT in 2010, we are focused on developing and deploying innovative real-world infrastructure solutions. Our first product, the SuperTower, uses the world’s first autonomous aerostat platform to permanently deploy high-speed mobile broadband in rural markets at a fraction of the cost of alternatives. Altaeros is headquartered in Somerville, MA and is backed by Softbank, Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, the Suhail Bahwan Group, Ratan N. Tata and others.
Learn more at www.altaeros.com