Verizon Trials LTE-by-Drone

‘Flying cell site’ designed for use when traditional mobile services are interrupted
Verizon drone test.jpg

Verizon Communications said it recently conducted a drone test to deliver LTE from the air to determine how large an area of wireless coverage can be created using a “flying cell site” aboard a long-endurance drone.

Verizon said the test, conducted on April 5 at Woodbine Municipal Airport in Woodbine, N.J. and spotted by DSL Reports, was also designed to “simulate an environment in which commercial power is knocked out indefinitely after a severe weather event or other disaster that interrupts traditional communications services.”

The carrier said the test was done under a Certificate of Waiver or Authorization (COA) issued by the FAA to Cape May County in preparation for a major emergency preparedness exercise in May involving county, state and federal emergency responders.

“This new test builds upon our leadership in conducting the first successful demonstration in the U.S. for providing aerial coverage from a long-endurance medium altitude aircraft with AATI in Cape May last October,” Verizon’s Christopher Desmond said in a statement.

Verizon PR man Alex Lawson tweeted some video from the test:

What happens if you lose coverage during severe weather? Send in a long endurance drone with 17 ft wingspan

— Alex Lawson (@ALawNC) April 5, 2017