du, the United Arab Emirates' second-largest operator and Nokia Networks in partnership with Ascom Network Testing and DroneWorks, have jointly conducted a Proof of Concept (PoC) testing which saw the use of drones to help network planning and optimization. The PoC involved the use of drones from Secutronic to carry smartphones with network testing applications to analyze du's network.
According to Nokia Networks, the smartphones were pre-installed with the TEMS™ Pocket software from Ascom Network Testing and were tested at the Dubai International Stadium, Dubai Sports City, which has a seating capacity of 25,000 people.
According to Nokia Networks, the drone assisted PoC gathered network data and provided Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) for a speedy performance test and efficient network optimization actions. The telco drones were also used for tower inspections, radio planning and Line of Sight (LoS) testing between radio towers to achieve an optimal site design, establish a clear LoS and determine antenna heights and site locations. Nokia Networks said the drones were also used for tower inspections to reduce the number of times technicians need to climb up and down a telecom tower. Drones can also help supervise the quality of installation by remotely monitoring the installation via wireless video streaming, added Nokia Networks.