Vodafone UK is calling for commercial and public sector drones to be fitted with SIM cards to give them cellular network connectivity. 

This would help reduce illegal and irresponsible drone use, the company argues, the like of which closed Gatwick Airport in December 2018 and which has caused many potentially catastrophic “near miss” incidents with passenger aircraft. 

Ensuring drones were fitted with SIM cards would enable them to be flown beyond “visual line of sight” of their operators, the report argues, and for their true potential to be realised. Currently, drone pilots must keep their drones within sight at all times. 

Cellular connection would also facilitate a necessary Unmanned Traffic Management system to monitor drone identity, location and flight plan authorisation, as well as enable dynamic no-fly zones, Vodafone argues. 

Its Radio Positioning System, developed in 2018, would police such zones and prevent drones from entering them.

The network commissioned a report, written by WPI Economics, in which it calls for the government to: 

  • establish a “blue light” drones fund to enable emergency services and NHS trusts to trial drones for new purposes
  • establish further testing facilities for UTM systems and Beyond Visual Line of Sight operations
  • explore how cellular connectivity could facilitate UTM systems, dynamic no-fly zones and electronic detectability.

The full report can be downloaded here.

Source: Press Release

UAV DACH: Beitrag im Original auf https://www.uasvision.com/2020/01/27/vodafone-wants-sim-cards-in-drones/, mit freundlicher Genehmigung von UAS Vision automatisch importiert. Der Beitrag gibt nicht unbedingt die Meinung oder Position des UAV DACH e.V. wieder. Das Original ist in englischer Sprache.