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Telecommunications Companies are Testing Drones for Emergency Cell Service

Sara Rice, Social Media Intern, Consumer Technology Association (CTA)

One of the biggest problems in an emergency or natural disaster is access to communication. Powerful hurricanes and storms capable of bringing down electrical grids and telephone lines can leave thousands or even millions without the ability to reach first responders. In preparation for the storms coming in 2018, companies like Verizon are testing drones that can provide cell service in the immediate aftermath of a disaster. This is just another development showing the life-saving potential of drones.

Last year in Puerto Rico, AT&T demonstrated how a drone, or Flying COW (Cell on Wings) as it was called, can be deployed to extend wireless connectivity. Recently, Verizon tested a 200-pound drone capable of providing cellular service to an area that has lost coverage due to extreme weather. In an emergency, access to cell service could mean the difference between life and death. This particular drone would supply a precise “cone of coverage” to the first responders on the ground, but anyone within the coverage area would have access. Watch the video below to learn more about Verizon’s test:

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