BT’s Drone SIM designed to provide connectivity for BVLOS drone operations

British telecoms provider BT has launched the connectivity service Drone SIM to support beyond visual line of sight (BVLOs) drone operation across the UK.

Designed to function at altitude using the EE network, Drone SIM offers unlimited data plans and continuous connectivity in the sky, says the press release. Drone SIM is designed to endure vibration, temperature and humidity extremes, supporting all-season drone use. Available to BT business customers, Drone SIM aims to support industries, from urgent delivery of medical supplies to infrastructure monitoring and transportation of goods.

The press release states:

Using BT Group’s EE network, Drone SIM provides connectivity, enabling safety, control, telemetry and ultra-high definition (UHD) video streaming at altitude. This enables drone users to capture detailed, survey quality imagery and video for a wide range of purposes, from search and rescue to infrastructure inspection.

Drone SIM enables uncrewed aerial vehicles (UAVs) to fly significant distances at their full capability whilst remaining in constant communication with their remote pilots and safety systems; rather than by line-of-sight radio transmission or local Wi-Fi.

Etc is the Digital start-up and incubation arm of BT Group. The launch of Drone SIM follows a series of successful trials and development by the Etc team, including work with Altitude Angel and the UK drone superhighway. Trials include critical infrastructure inspection with drone technology provider, plus the ability to test BVLOS mission safety standards in an integrated airspace with turnkey Uncrewed Aerial System providers Skylift. Drone SIM has also powered a UK-first drone medical delivery trial with aerial logistics specialist Skyfarer.

Dave Pankhurst, Director of Drones, BT, said, “Following the successful trials of our Drone SIM over the past year, this announcement is a huge stepping stone in bringing drone connectivity to businesses across the UK, unlocking potential for more efficient processes, business transformation and, with the ability to power search and rescue missions and medical deliveries, helping to save lives.”

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