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SoftBank gives Loon $125mn, gets high-altitude unmanned partner

SoftBank’s HAPSMobile wing has invested $125mn into Loon, the Alphabet subsidiary, and in turn snared itself a partner for collaborations in high-altitude network connectivity projects. This comes in especially useful for HAPSMobile’s new HAWK30, an unmanned aircraft system (UAS) that SoftBank hopes can serve as a way to bring cellular coverage to challenging terrestrial locations. While LPWAN vendors, of both the licensed and unlicensed variety, are targeting these same remote locations, with the U-LPWAN community showing more enthusiasm than the MNOs, they should be bracing for a wave of IoT-focused nanosatellite competitors. These startups are looking to launch dirt-cheap satellite constellations, embracing the plummeting launch costs brought about by SpaceX’s industry shake-up. In between these two camps, stratospherically speaking, lies…

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