Drones Could Boost Stadium Wi-Fi


AT&T plans to use drones to improve wireless coverage at events with large crowds. It’s the next step in a program that’s started with the drones inspecting cellphone towers.

The company says it has a national drone program and will try to use the unmanned vehicles in as many different ways as possible to boost its services. It’s already begun trials to use the drones as a way to speed inspections of towers to check for damage rather than wait for human operators to reach and climb the towers. The drones can even reach some parts that are completely inaccessible by humans, which means that until now they’ve effectively been neither checkable or repairable without dismantling a tower completely.

AT&T is also looking at turning drones into miniature cell relay points, something it calls Flying COWs (or Cell on Wings.) One possibility is to make them available as a commercial service for businesses that need to carry large amounts of data over a large geographic area, such as in agriculture.

Another option being explored is as a temporary way to increase wireless bandwidth in a very targeted location. This could mean using drones at large sporting events and public gatherings in places where large crowds only occasionally gather. Another is as a rapid solution after natural disasters or similar events where demand for connectivity suddenly spikes.

Geeks are Sexy needs YOUR help. Learn more about how YOU can support us here.