How drones can improve your cellular service

- AT&T demonstrated how drones can improve your mobile phone service even in the middle of a throng of other users.

During this afternoon's Giants game at AT&T park, AT&T's drone team showed how now it can inspect  network infrastructure placed inside or high atop stadiums and buildings, but the stadium they're inspecting is not AT&T Park— it’s Seattle's Huskies football stadium.

Even with thousands of people here using their mobile devices, AT&T was able to use the same communications equipment to fly a drone 700 miles away.

The end goal: clearer connections, less interference and fewer slowdowns for customers.

Paula Doublin, assistant AT&T Construction Vice President, said customers would have the speed that they seek, would be able to download and upload and would be able to stream. “They can do anything they want," Doublin said.

With drone technology, the team can quickly measure the signal strength customers are getting anywhere inside or outside in one day, instead of having teams of walking technicians do it in five days.

"The engineers and technicians who support the network are able to view this data live and, in some cases, remote adjustments can be made.  In other cases, a technician may need to go to the site," says Michael Scott, AT&T's Drone Program Co-Manager.

Beyond making sure everything is optimal at the stadium, mall, office building or concert hall, drones can inspect lines and cables mounted on poles and towers, no matter how remote the location. It's quicker and safer than sending technicians up there. 

When you're inspecting or diagnosing remotely placed equipment, one of the most important things is to simply lay eyes on it. With a drone, you can also put on sensors that can look at it, inside of it and every system inside of it as well as how we'll they're operating.

Drones will also have a huge role in upcoming disasters and in places where there's no infrastructure.

"A cell site on wings in which we can launch a drone as a temporary cell site either increase coverage or add local coverage where we need it immediately.  That's coming," said Scott.
 
Despite drones' early-on bad reputation, the drone age has only just begun and some of it isn’t all that bad. 
 

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