World’s First Commercial Aerial Cell Tower
19 April 2019
Communications service company headquartered in Massachusetts, Altaeros, officially launched the world’s first commercially accessible aerial cell tower, the SuperTower ST200, following the initial testing of the ST200 at its R&D site in southern New Hampshire.
The SuperTower uses a developed aerostat architecture, combined with advanced automation and control technologies, to mount radios and antennas four times higher than conventional cell towers to allow carriers to cover considerably more territory than standard towers in an efficient way.
The ST200 marks the culmination of Altaeros ‘over 8 years of aerostat research and development. Designed to operate with several different communication systems from any variety of suppliers, the ST200 is the largest and most versatile autonomous aerostat platform from Altaeros to date, and the first to be made available commercially.
The ST200 was tested on six Ericsson 4 G LTE high-capacity radios and three high-gain Matsing lens antennas.
Users were able to transmit high-definition video at lengths far outside the scope of a standard cell site during the initial trials, including in the New England hills and woods. Initially, Altaeros is deploying SuperTowers in cooperation with US airlines, with plans to grow quickly globally.
The arrival of the first commercial SuperTower marks a turning point in traditionally under-served rural areas for new, high-speed connectivity. By growing the number of sites required in rural areas by more than 90%, the SuperTower offers a quick and affordable business expansion route. This can also step up the introduction of emerging technology like 5 G and IoT in rural markets.