Network connectivity specialist TEOCO is to supply its AirborneRF platform to telecommunications company Telstra to support the development of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV) activities including mission-critical services. Telstra will use TEOCO’s solution to assess the readiness of its radio access network for future UAV applications, including communications, navigation, surveillance, safety, and identity. This will assist Telstra’s development of a secure and reliable urban air space platforms.
AirborneRF is designed to provide a link between cellular networks and aviation systems, such as air traffic management (ATM), unmanned traffic management (UTM) and flight information management systems (FIMS). It is already used by tier-one operators to ensure mission-critical connectivity to enable effective traffic management and control for UAVs in the lower airspace.
Telstra’s selection of AirborneRF follows Uber’s decision in 2019 to use Melbourne as one of three pilot cities to test out its “flying taxis”—the pilot is expected to begin this year, with commercial operations planned for 2023.
“Commercial UAVs present a huge opportunity for telco operators, but only if supporting mobile networks deliver the required connectivity to keep them airborne,” said Thomas Neubauer, VP Business Development at TEOCO. “Mobile networks were not designed to meet the needs of the aviation industry, so tight focus is needed to guarantee the quality of service needed to safeguard the additional revenue that connected skies promise. Our Airborne RF solution offers this guarantee to a growing number of major operators around the world.”
Telecommunications mobile networks play an important part in UAV deployment: ranging from IoT (drone registration, activation and identification), through to 5G (super low latency remote command and control and hi-res video carriage). TEOCO reports a number of drone-related technology assessments with various industry customers, within Law enforcement, humanitarian aid, post disaster, first responders and city councils, over the past 12 months.
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