The world’s vision of drone delivery of critical services and goods through mobile network got major impetus recently when Vodafone and Ericsson have completed a proof of concept delivery trial in Germany. The testing, which was conducted at Vodafone’s Aldenhoven-based innovation center, proved how secure and safe flight path corridors can be established within the network range.
Sources cite the trial used network traffic data to assure that drone paths avoided poorer network and heavily loaded cells areas. This has ensured the connectivity of drones from departure point to destination. It also enables drone operators to use coverage maps to plan a reliable and secure path between the control center and the done. Non-mobile drone network range is restricted to line of sight operation.
Drone delivery through the mobile network is expected to significantly expand delivery or flying range, including beyond line of sight use. This creates innovation potential across numerous delivery services, including urgent health care provision. Drone use cases are also being pursued in emergency and natural disaster response, utility industry, and mobile network infrastructure monitoring.
According to sources, Ericsson and Vodafone have also explored how the mobile network could be used to operate numerous drone features, like the ability to suddenly enhance the definition of an on-board video camera without hampering other services. Such capabilities can be relevant in scenarios where live video streaming is not needed for the complete flight, like inspection of a suspension bridge.
Speaking on which, Johan Wibergh who is the CTO at Vodafone Group said that the company’s network has evolved into a powerful built on artificial intelligence and machine learning, capable of delivering TV, video, and data services at gigabit speeds.
He added that the company enters the next era of evolution, it will use its software-based, intelligent network to offer new digital services that support society.