Vodafone Speeds Up Network Upgrades Using Drone Surveys

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Vodafone UK and Ericsson will be upgrading their mobile sites with the help of drones equipped with Lidar technology. For the unaware, Lidar stands for Light Detection and Ranging. The Lidar technology will be fitted on the drones along with a high-definition camera which will fly above the location and deliver a complete 3D digital twin model of the site.

This will allow the network design teams and engineers to study and analyse the site virtually. It would save plenty of time for the companies and also reduce the number of required physical visits to the site.

Further, the use of 3D digital twin models of the sites would allow both Vodafone and Ericsson to reduce the carbon footprint they have on the planet.

Vodafone’s Plans For Virtual Site Meetings

Typically, the engineers of Vodafone and Ericsson need to travel to the physical site for analysing and surveying the necessary data; that too multiple times on several occasions. But with the help of drones equipped with HD camera and Lidar technology, only one drone expert can visit the site, capture the complete area and then share it with the rest of the team.

It would enable engineers to access the site sitting in remote areas without any travel costs. During the Covid-19 pandemic, Vodafone has already deployed new networks in about 70 locations with the help of drones in a similar fashion.

There are four main ways in which drones benefit Vodafone. First, it allows the telco to go with a more efficient planning process and allows it to deliver new networks faster. Second, it mitigates the health and safety risks that are associated with travelling to the same site with multiple people over and over again.

Third, since lesser people travel and the work is done through lighter equipment, the telco can effectively reduce the carbon footprint it is leaving on the planet. Lastly, Vodafone can generate more accurate data in one visit to the location. Thus, the engineers won’t have to visit the site again and again to collect the necessary information.

Vodafone is using the DJI Mavic Pro 2 UAV for capturing the sites. This is a clever initiative from the telco reducing its costs and also keeping people safe.

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