China Unicom (中国联通), one of the country’s largest telecom carriers, recently used drone as a mobile base station to establish a stable wireless telecom network in eastern China’s Nanjing.
The operator put a quadcopter to test in an island on Yangtze River that bisects Nanjing, capital of Jiangsu Province, IT Home, a tech media outlet, quoted the carrier as saying.
Technicians from China Unicom used the drone as a node of communication to realize broadband connection with ground signal receivers that are several thousand meters away.
What’s more, the quadcopter realized functions including aerial, high-precision optical tracking and pointing as well as millimeter-wave telecom signal transmission.
During the test flight, the drone flew along pre-planned paths while maintaining contact with ground mobile base stations via an 84GHz millimeter wave.
This way, the drone proved that it is capable of building a mobile base station for air-to-ground wireless telecommunication, providing high-speed signal coverage independent of optical fibers.
Extend service capabilities
China’s mobile telecom operators have been experimenting with drones and other high-tech gadgets to extend their service capabilities.
China Unicom said in February this year that it flew a drone carrying a base station in Anyang, a city in central China’s Henan Province.
The operation was intended to test the ability of its drone-mounted base station to work in emergencies like natural disasters, where access of disaster-stricken areas to the internet is cut off.
During the February test, the airborne base station consists of a long-range, customized medium-sized drone, a mobile base station and a backhaul link.
Experts who took part in the latest experiment told media that quadcopters or drones that come with mobile base stations have enormous potential for application in mobile telecom connection and emergency rescue.