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Telstra Eyes Drones For Future Network Revenue

As the race to 5G continues, Telstra has revealed it’s eyeing the future of drones for additional mobile network revenue – notably those with built-in SIM cards and radios.

Speaking to The Australian Telstra Chief Technology Officer, Hakan Eriksson, asserts drones hold “interesting” potential for future transport, however, claims there’s currently a “big component missing”.

telstra airThe missing piece surrounds how users control the unmanned air crafts – a role Telstra has set it sights on:

“We think the mobile network can serve a big part in being the connectivity layer that you can use to communicate with drones and also control drones”

“We usually talk about the drones as just a flying mobile phone because Telstra is very good at talking to mobile phones and if all the drones had a radio and a SIM card in them, they could talk to their infrastructure controller”.

Telstra is reportedly in talks with local civil aviation regulators, over the way in which drones operate beyond regular lines of vision – claimed to be the key to many of their potential benefits.

The news comes as the telco continues to expand its investment in drone technology.

As previously reported, last month Telstra joined Google and several others by investing in Californian-based drone flight platform ‘Cape’. The platform enables users to remotely control drones in real time (e.g. via mobiles or laptops).

The telco is reportedly also working on drone tech inside its start-up accelerator ‘muru-D’.

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