Telefonica, S.A., an integrated telecommunications company, and Skydweller Aero Inc., a U.S.-Spanish aerospace company developing solar powered aircraft for defense and commercial industries, have announced its official partnership to explore the development of connectivity solutions to accelerate the expansion of cellular coverage, delivering reliable and affordable broadband access in unserved and underserved regions.
“Telefónica is aiming to explore in detail how non-terrestrial solutions can become an efficient complement to current terrestrial networks in specific use cases like coverage extension to deep-rural areas, disaster relief applications, etc. Integration of multiple networks, including non-terrestrial ones, into a single operational concept is a key aspect of current networks evolution towards beyond-5G and Telefónica is willing to support the Industry in this evolution.” said Enrique Blanco, Global CTIO of Telefónica.
This partnership will pioneer the development of best-of-breed technology, fusing Telefonica’s unique approach to telecommunications and innovation and Skydweller’s rapid maturation of aircraft design and autonomous systems technology. The two companies will work closely to solve the coverage and connectivity gap, providing significantly enhanced economies of scale to deliver state-of-the-art non-terrestrial communication networks, bringing faster, more reliable network access to enterprises and consumers, while extending fixed and cellular coverage in rural and remote areas.
“Skydweller believes that technology has immense potential to improve society, promoting economic progress, development, and the advancement of renewable energies to fight climate change. Non-terrestrial network solutions will complement the existing framework and accelerate the closure of the divide for an inclusive digital economy at significantly better cost economics,” said Skydweller CEO Dr. Robert Miller. “We are proud to be partnering with a global telecommunications company that shares our commitment to exploring and deploying innovative airborne solutions to provide greater connectivity at higher speeds and more affordable pricing.”
The strategic, non-exclusive, collaboration between Telefonica and Skydweller will include developing technical specifications for non-terrestrial communication payloads, jointly analysing communication solutions for non-terrestrial networks as well as its integration with existing terrestrial ones, evaluating commercial models for various operator, consumer, and business use cases,. Telefonica and Skydweller will begin working together immediately, advancing these technologies to bridge the digital divide in developing markets around the world.