Aerostats Startup Altaeros is getting a big lift this week. The company has just received $7.5 million in new Funding from Japan's Softbank Group.

According to TechCrunch, the Boston-based startup has managed to secure fresh capital from Japan’s Softbank Group. Altaeros to use the fresh capital to speed up works on the company’s SuperTower, a project that aims to bring low-cost wireless broadband to rural areas using Altaeros’ tethered balloons. The Boston-based startup plans to commercialize the Super Tower technology by next year.

Altaeros, a promising startup

Founded in 2010 and based in Boston, Massachusetts, Altaeros Energies develops airborne turbine tech to produce a low cost and renewable source of energy. The company develops a renewable energy solution that integrates proven aerospace tech with the latest development in the wind turbine technology. It focuses on the untapped renewable energy sources such as the high altitude winds.

Altaeros provides its renewable energy solution to customers in various sectors, which include agriculture, entertainment, mining, oil and gas, military sites, rural communities, island communities, offshore power sites, and disaster relief. The company said on its website that its SuperTower will compete with the likes of Facebook Aguila project and Google’s Project Loon.

The startup has been growing fast and has already received funding from a number of sources. These include the US Department of Agriculture, Cleantech Innovation New England, the Maine Technology Institute, the Alaska Energy Authority, the National Science Foundation, the California Energy Commission, the Massachusetts Clean Energy Center, RNT Associates, and the Mitsubishi Heavy industries.

In addition to the funding it received, the company also received the 2011 ConocoPhillips Energy Prize.

This is not the first time it received funding from an investor. Altaeros received its first venture capital funding ($7 million) in December 2014. That funding round was led by the Japanese telecommunication giant Softbank Group.

Inside the Altaeros’s SuperTower technology

Altaeros claims that the new SuperTower, which uses tethered balloons to deliver a wireless connection to rural areas, will have an advantage due to having a much easier way to integrate into existing systems than the current market competitions. It uses the same radios, antennas and permitting processes as the conventional network infrastructures. More importantly, it offers a much lower energy use than the conventional communication infrastructures, making it a top choice for wireless business.

The startup also claims that wireless carriers can use the SuperTower technology to augment 4G LTE and upcoming 5G networks tech in rural areas. The company plans to start trialing the solution with wireless carriers next year.

Altaeros is not the only company that working on the tethered balloons that deliver a wireless connection to some rural areas. Search giant Google is also working on Project Loon, which reportedly launches transmitters under high-altitude balloons to provide low-cost broadband to some rural areas. There’s also the Facebook's Aquila, which involves a solar-powered drone designed to at an altitude of 60,000 to 90,000 feet.

But unlike the Google’s Project Loon or Facebook Aquila, Altaeros’ SuperTower remains fixed to the ground with conductive tethers.

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