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Guests: Walt Anderson, Tom Olson; Topics: Avealto, LTD, high altitude platforms (HAPs) for communication purposes, business economic models, state of the telecom industry and much more.
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We welcomed back to the program Walt Anderson and Tom Olson to discuss Avealto, LTD, a UK company based in London for the purpose of building and deploying high altitude platforms known as HAPs for telecom communications more efficient and effective than satellite communications. Please see the demonstration video on our website for this show for a view of the program and what a HAP looks like.
Walt introduced us Avealto and the technology for a good part of the first segment of our 90 minute program. This introduction was most import so listen carefully as the rest of our discussion relies on information shared with us early in the discussion. As Walt was explaining the HAP and his venture to us, Todd sent in an early email asking our guests about the SpaceX Starlink and if they considered it competition. Don't miss what Walt said but for the most part, he said it was not competition as Starlink was addressing and serving another market. Tom picked up the conversation after the question was answered and provided us with some of the size and performance specs for a deployed HAP. Our guests also described how long a HAP could remain on station before needing service, replacement HAP strategy and just how many HAPs would be needed when the company assume full operations. Another listener asked if weather would alter performance of a HAP.
Walt talked about the Google Moon program explaining the differences in what he is doing with his company compared to Google Moon and blimps. Later, he was asked for the data capacity for a HAP which he provided along with a comparison to the capital costs. Another listener asked about the regulatory environment and agencies. Walt said they have to work with the FAA and other US agencies, the agencies in the UK and elsewhere. They need flight approval and frequency authorizations. He then talked about their frequency usage. A listener asked him about coverage for rural areas in the U.S. but he said that was not one of their initial priority markets which he then identified for us. As for timelines, our guests said they should start commercial operations next year. It was also mentioned that the HAPs were manufactured in the UK.
Fremont John wanted to know about their manufacturing processes and the use of advanced tech like 3D printing, AI and such. Bill wanted to know about previous large aerospace industry competing projects, using Lockheed as an example. Tom was then asked if the business was space scalable, a term used by Tom to suggest a business that could evolve to being a beneficial space business. Tom said no but listen to all of what he had to say with regards to this question. Later, our guests were asked if the coverage area of an individual HAP could be enlarged. In addition, our guests were asked about human involvement with the HAPs. As we were moving closer to the end of our discussion, Walt was asked about a possible IPO of sorts and exit strategies. I then asked our guests to summarize our discussion. Both offered us closing comments which you will want to hear.
Please post your comments/questions on the blog for this program. You can reach Walt or Tom through me.