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AT&T outlines plans for drone use

September 7, 2017

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AT&T is already using unmanned aerial vehicles to survey and inspect cell towers, and now the carrier is investing in software to help drones autonomously repair tower equipment and carry radios to places where network traffic is heavy. Right now, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration does not allow drones to fly without a human pilot on the ground, but those rules are expected to change as drone technology advances.

“One day in the future the network will be monitoring customer demand over large geographies throughout the day and then the network would autonomously dispatch radio-equipped drones to temporarily add capacity where needed,” explained Art Pregler, director of national mobility systems at AT&T. “So the network could send the drones out and then send the drones back to their stations or to other locations as the customer demand fluctuates throughout the day.”

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