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High altitude platforms represent a new alternative to terrestrial and satellite communications systems, and have gained considerable interest in the past few years due to some of their outstanding features. Of the multitude of services HAPs can provide, in this article we, focus on the potential role of HAPs in beyond 3G networks. First, a short introduction to HAPs is made. Then we discuss different hybrid system architectures with emphasis on the merits of HAPs and provide a potential mapping of services to the components of a terrestrial-HAP-satellite integrated system. We also examine critical issues that stem from the use of HAPs. Finally, the maximum uplink capacity is evaluated for a multiservice W-CDMA HAP network.