The former Director of the ITU-R, Francois Rancy, told a conference six years ago that a key challenge in spectrum management is that you need to plan far into the future. WRC-92, for example, established the mobile broadband bands that were only popularised with the advent of the iPhone almost 20 years later. The next WRC, in 1997, identified spectrum for another whizzy new technology: High Altitude Platform Stations.
More than two decades later, HAPS are yet to revolutionise communications. But for a series of reasons that we set out in a new Research Note, An introduction to High-Altitude Platform Station systems, this may be about to change. Anticipating more demand for the application, WRC-19 made more bands available to HAPS. Perhaps more controversially, as we note in Spectrum for High-Altitude Platform Stations it also asked WRC-23 to consider allowing HAPS to use the 2.1 GHz as part of terrestrial mobile broadband networks.
Beyond changes to the Radio Regulations, HAPS pose difficult technical, commercial, and regulatory questions about how HAPS and their spectrum assignments should be coordinated in the stratosphere. This cutting-edge topic is discussed another new research note: Traffic and interference management in the stratosphere
These notes, and more, are available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers in a new HAPS Dossier.