Everyone is familiar with the terrible cell reception that accompanies many major festivals. Some turn to walkie-talkies to get in touch while other live with the situation and figure out ways to work around it. Fortunately for all, telecomm giant AT&T may have just proposed the best solution to this problem, suggesting the use of drones to help boost reception.
Drones would essentially hover over festivals, acting as mobile cell towers to help alleviate the high network traffic generated from the thousands of users below. The drones would relay AT&T’s 4G network, meaning connection would be quick. This could have a huge impact on not just festivals, but emergency situations as well. Downed cell towers could be quickly replaced with a drone while repairs are made or areas are evacuated, allowing people to let their loved ones know where they are headed. The drones could also inspect the towers before repairs are needed to assess the damage and reduce the amount of time a repairman spends on a dangerous site. In AT&T’s own words:
Connecting drones to our nationwide LTE network lets us capture data and feed it directly to our systems. In turn, this can allow us to make changes to our network in real time.
By using drones to inspect a cell site, we’re able to conduct inspections more quickly and safely – and even access parts of a tower that a human simply could not. We anticipate this will allow us to improve our customers’ experience by enhancing our cell sites faster than ever before.
While it seems like this may only benefit AT&T customers, I expect the amount of network stress the drones will take on should be enough to help boost regular cell reception in the area for other service users.