“World’s first” small UAV beams 4G signal as a “flying cell tower”

On Monday, a VA-based tech firm, Fenix Group, Inc., partnered with Martin UAV, a company that produces “rugged utility drones,” to produce an under-55-lb unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) capable of offering 4G cell service—an accomplishment it calls the “world’s first.”

“The company sees huge potential for government and industry,” said Dave Peterson, Fenix Group’s president and CEO, in a press release.

According to the release, the development could mean a big savings for US Department of Defense (DoD) networks. Additionally, “the marriage of unmanned systems with LTE core networks is representative of what Google was trying to do with their Loon program,” said Peterson in the press release. “We beat Google at something, for very little money, and that feels great.” For a refresher, Project Loon developed flying air balloons that stayed afloat in Peru’s airspace for a total of 98 days, beaming Wi-Fi internet to the public. Facebook also developed a drone called Aquila to deliver internet to remote areas, which completed its first test flight in July 2016 …


Tech Republic | April 3, 2017

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