Flying tower company SPL ‘seeks £130m’ as Indonesia shows interest

Flying tower company SPL ‘seeks £130m’ as Indonesia shows interest


Indonesian infrastructure company Protelindo has said it wants to use flying platforms from a company that is also working with BT.

UK-based Stratospheric Platforms (SPL) also said that it is looking to raise £130 million to help deliver its 5G services globally, and that Protelindo has taken a stake.

But SPL did not respond to Capacity’s request for details of Protelindo’s stake.

SPL CEO Richard Deakin said: “We are delighted to be working with the Protelindo team as we look forward to building on our recent 5G stratospheric demonstrations and move to our production standard hydrogen-powered aircraft and full-service roll-out.”

Earlier this week SPL said BT was going to try out its technology, not from a flying platform but from a tower on BT’s research centre, Adastral Park in the east of England.

In 2020 SPL shareholder Deutsche Telekom did try out the technology, using an aircraft, but since has made no announcements. However Matthias Budde, senior VP for group strategy and transformation at Deutsche Telekom, and Daniel Daub, of Deutsche Telekom’s Hrvatski Telekom, are both SPL directors.

Deutsche Telecom is the largest shareholder in SPL and the second largest – behind Patrick Drahi – in BT.

SPL has found a new enthusiast in Protelindo, said SPL, apparently with a shareholding, though there are no details on the UK government’s companies registration and information site.

Ferdinandus Aming Santoso, CEO of the Protelindo Group, said: “We believe SPL’s HAP [high-altitude platform] aircraft can serve as a ‘tower in the sky’ for areas with telecom coverage challenges. This capability is relevant in both developed and emerging markets.”

SPL said its uncrewed aircraft (pictured) will have the ability to provide direct coverage to users over 15,000 sq km and connection speeds of up to 200Mbps.

Indonesia, the largest country in south-east Asia, has over 17,000 islands and 1.9 million sq km of land area. Its complex topography, including mountainous landscapes and high seas, presents challenges for telecommunications coverage, said SPL.

SPL said its “solution offers seamless integration with terrestrial networks and tower operators, full 5G compatibility, and unparalleled connectivity across all climates, conditions, and terrains”.

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