AT&T proposes drones as solution to spotty festival cell service
Less-than-stellar phone coverage has become the irritating but accepted standard at large-scale events like concerts, festivals, and sports games ever since the explosion of the smartphone’s popularity. In a new blog post, however, AT&T has announced a potential solution: drones.
The service provider’s new initiative is designed to improve wireless LTE coverage in situations where the network is overloaded. The new technology would not only improve the experience at large gatherings, but also has practical applications in emergency and disaster situations where communication is limited. The enhanced connectivity provided by the drones could allow victims of disaster to make phone calls for assistance or to alert family members that they are safe — sometimes an impossibility under normal cell phone coverage when demand skyrockets.
AT&T is also exploring the use of drones as a means to inspect cell towers and improve service more quickly and safely. While an actual person must perform any repairs, drone surveillance could eliminate unnecessary inspections and assess damage without the need to send anybody up.
Connecting drones to our nationwide LTE network lets us capture data and feed it directly to our systems. In turn, this can allow us to make changes to our network in real time.
By using drones to inspect a cell site, we’re able to conduct inspections more quickly and safely – and even access parts of a tower that a human simply could not. We anticipate this will allow us to improve our customers’ experience by enhancing our cell sites faster than ever before.
H/T: The Verge