Angel's HALO(TM) Network

Angel Technologies Corporation and its strategic partners (Endgate Corporation, Scaled Composites, and Wyman-Gordon Company) are developing a high capacity wireless metropolitan area communications network ("The HALO Network") to provide broadband communications services over a footprint 50 to 75 miles in diameter. The HALO Network uses a data communications hub aboard a specially designed High Altitude Long Operation ("HALO") aircraft, flying at altitudes high above commercial air traffic and adverse weather, to provide customers with access to broadband services, regardless of their location. The HALO Network will offer ubiquitous access to subscribers within the "super metropolitan area," and will enable individual consumers, businesses, institutions to send and receive data at multi-megabit per second rates using its LazerSpeedTM Product. The HALO aircraft is being manufactured by Angel's strategic partner Scaled Composites, a division of Wyman-Gordon Company. The HALO Network will be a "universal" wireless communications network to be deployed worldwide, on a city-by-city basis.

By utilizing licensed terrestrial spectrum, adapting and integrating millimeter wave radio technologies, packet switches, broadband data networking components, and by exploiting the geometric advantages offered by a "very tall tower," the HALO Network will be able to provide data rates in the multi-megabit per second range to its subscribers. The HALO Network will have an initial transactional capacity greater than 16 Gigabits per second (i.e., comparable to more than 5,000 fully-loaded, symmetric DS-1 connections). Over a period of several years after deploying its first network, Angel will increase the capacity according to market demand.

Many thousands of subscribers will have access to the HALO Network. Capacity resellers such as Internet Service Providers ("ISPs") will directly market capacity to consumers and businesses. The mix of subscribers may include home users, corporate LAN accounts, media and entertainment companies, governments and affiliates, educational institutions, hospitals and other health care providers, law enforcement agencies and emergency services, telephone companies, ISPs, information content providers and broadcasters.

Subscribers to the network will be able to exchange video, high-resolution images, and large data files among one another. Information addressed to non-subscribers or to recipients beyond the region served by the HALO Network will be routed through a dedicated HALO Gateway connected to the public switched networks, or via business premise equipment ("BPE") owned and operated by service providers who are connected to the public networks. (The public networks are operated by long-distance providers and Wide Area Network operators.)

Activation of the service will be as easy as typical consumer electronics. The customer will install either a standards-based BPE or customer premise equipment ("CPE") and a small externally mounted auto-tracking antenna.

The HALO Network Advantages

The HALO aircraft can be thought of as a very tall tower or very low altitude satellite. Through the use of only one airborne network hub, versus hundreds of towers for an equivalent terrestrial wireless network, the HALO Network will revolutionize wireless communications by expanding coverage to thousands of square miles and by providing capacity to serve thousands of simultaneous multi-megabit data exchanges. Contrasted to terrestrial broadband networks, the HALO Network offers ubiquitous, anyone-to-anyone, broadband linkages throughout the footprint. All subscribers within the service area will have full access to the network on the first day it is activated.

The HALO Network can augment and supplement satellite systems. The HALO Network allocates its capacity directly to population centers and thus can serve as a traffic concentrator for satellite systems or can relay gigabit-per-second data traffic to satellites by using space-to-Earth licensed millimeter-wave frequencies. Unlike global satellite systems which necessitate an all-or-nothing deployment and financing, Angel's broadband services can be introduced and financed incrementally on a city-by-city basis. Finally, satellites must operate for much of their life with aging components and have only a modest ability to alter their orbits. The modular design of the HALO Network permits Angel to routinely upgrade the network elements in pace with innovations emerging from the telecommunications, computer and data communications industries. HALO Networks can be introduced to highly promising markets around the world on a selective basis.

Angel's system engineering approach will enable expansion of network capacity and service quality through an influx of new technologies into each HALO Network element: the airborne hub, Customer Premise Equipment (CPE), Business Premise Equipment (BPE), and the HALO Gateway (HG). "Continuous improvement" is a significant attribute of the HALO Network. It enables Angel to meet the increasing expectations of present customers, and to open new markets requiring lesser capability by re-assigning earlier-generation hubs.

HALO Network Key Attributes

  • HALO Aircraft. The HALO Proof of Concept aircraft first flew publically September 21, 1998 and is undergoing flight trials. Attributes of the aircraft include: operates at 51,000 to 60,000 feet above each service area, utilizes two reliable, certified fan jet engines, and has an all composite fixed-wing airframe built expressly for communications services.

  • Airborne Network Hub. The HALO aircraft will carry nearly one ton of payload, including an antenna array and electronics, for providing wireless communications services. The antenna array creates hundreds of contiguous virtual cells on the ground to serve thousands of users. The payload is roll-stabilized, liquid cooled, and can be provided with greater than 20 KW of DC power.

  • Subscriber Terminals. Easy-to-install, standards-based, millimeter wave Customer Premise Equipment ("CPE") and Business Premise Equipment ("BPE") with auto-tracking high-gain antenna.
  • High Signal Quality and Availability. At frequencies above 20 GHz, where wireless broadband services are being licensed, high losses of signals are caused by ground terrain, foliage and rain. The high viewing angles to HALO aircraft (20 degrees or greater) assure communications signal paths free of absorbing objects. The combination of a large aperture and high signal power utilized by the HALO Network allows service availability in regions with high rainfall rates.

  • Rapid Buildout. A HALO Network can be put into operation within weeks. Upon Network activation, Angel provides service to the full super metropolitan area.

  • Flexible System Architecture. The network hub can be readily altered to better serve market needs and to offer higher data rates to subscribers as spectrum becomes available.

  • Low Cost. Negligible ground infrastructure, coupled with a large footprint and multi-megabit-per-second data rates make broadband services offered by the HALO Network extremely competitive on a $/bit/square mile basis.

  • Consumer Service. Broadband on demand ("BBOD") to the home. Typically 1 - 5 Mbps (symmetric service). Services include low-cost Internet, video on demand, tele-commuting, and 2-way video conferencing.

  • Business Service (LazerSpeedTM) Switched and dedicated BBOD to business. Typically 5 to 12.5 Mbps (symmetric service). Services include Internet access, online sales, inventory, intranets, enterprise networks, extended LANs, offsite training, 2-way video conferencing, and access to terrestrial millimeter wave networks.

  • HALO Network Coverage Area. Unique antenna provides ubiquitous coverage throughout a circular footprint 50 to 75 miles in diameter with high availability.

  • Hours of Service. Around-the-clock.

  • Initial Network Capacity. Nearly 5,000 simultaneous, two-way, DS1-equivalent links in the first network. This capacity may be grown ten-fold over a period of several years following activation of the first network.

Spectrum Options

Angel plans to provide broadband services to businesses and consumers utilizing already licensed high-frequency spectrum allocated for terrestrial broadband applications. Angel is currently in discussion with a number of spectrum holders who are looking to benefit from Angel's rapid and ubiquitous buildout characteristics to make maximal use of the license. Additional spectrum holders interested in exploring this option should contact Angel directly.

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