See how drones are playing a part in connecting the planet.
Since I was young I have always been interested in photography and anything technical so it was only inevitable that eventually I would one day fly and own a drone.
I am not going to bore you by sharing photos like the holiday snaps you find on your best friends Facebook page, nor am I going to bore you by talking in technical terms like ‘gimbal’ or ‘lithium polymer’. Instead I am going to talk about the effect drones are having globally, particularly in relation to mobile technologies and communications.
Bringing Internet to the world
It seems the biggest challenge for Unified Communications in developing countries is in fact access to the internet however that may shortly change. It seems that both Facebook and Google are challenging this idea by investing millions into projects with an aim to deliver 5G Wi-Fi via drones.
Facebook recently announced that it has started testing one of its purpose built drones which are designed to provide Internet access to the estimated 10% of the world’s population living in remote locations that have no Internet infrastructure. Project Aquila is one of a handful of projects Facebook is currently running with a mission is to connect everyone on the planet.
Like Facebook; Google wants to provide Internet access to all corners of the earth and it hopes to achieve this with their Skybender project. Using 5G Wi-Fi, their technology will hopefully enable wireless speeds up to 40 times faster than current 4G capabilities.
While even closer to home Nokia and the mobile network EE recently conducted trials by using a drone to carry a tiny base station to remote areas around Scotland. This adds a whole new dimension for network operators, allowing them to provide temporary 4G coverage to underserved areas, in emergencies or to quickly expand capacity at large events. Tests showed mobile coverage can cover ranges of several kilometres including high quality voice calls, video streaming and up to 150 Mbps data were all achieved, with no need for a connection to an external network.
A global market
In August 2016 consulting group PricewaterhouseCoopers released a report predicting that the global market for commercial applications of drone technology, currently estimated at about $2 billion, will grow to as much as $127 billion by 2020.
So it seems drones will be soon delivering your Amazon parcels, pizzas and even your mobile and internet access – bringing seamless, limitless communication to everyone, everywhere.
- The internet is being extended into even the most remote regions
- Private companies such as Facebook and Nokia are leading the way
- Drones are playing a key part in opening up communications to all