SUASNews has reported today that Verizon has announced their strategy today to enable advanced LTE based drone operations in the future to take the commercialization of drones a step further (SUASNews article link below).
Besides all the regulation talks for commercial applications of UAVs this is an important technological aspect to open doors for secure broad usage of commercial aerial drones. More and more companies are pushing into this field and require clear and safe framework conditions to naturally grow new businesses. As an European I hope that other cellular network companies follow the approach of Verizon.
Besides basic technology being widely available (meaning: flight controllers, multirotors of all kinds, basic avionics) no specific communications technology for operating multiple drones in airspace has been developed. At least not with the focus on aerial operations. Cellular network communication protocols can be used on one hand for such applications. But on the other hand their original purpose was to connect cell phones and mobile devices on the ground. Aerial drone operations impose further requirements to the existing mobile communication protocols such as cell coverage in rural areas as well as increased reception quality above ground.
Picture: Mercedes-Benz Vision Van (enabled for fully autonomous aerial deliveries)
SUASNews article on LTE based drone operations: