Wireless Industry News

The cell tower industry is just one of many that could be transformed by unmanned aerial systems, more commonly known as drones.

Many of us think first of Amazon.com when we think of drones, but drones can carry something much more valuable than the typical Amazon package. Drones can deliver data for many industries, including construction, transportation and energy.

All of these industries are important to Bryan Philips, director of business development for Surveying and Mapping (SAM), a 600-person engineering firm that provides geospatial data solutions and aerial mapping. Drones have been a natural extension of SAM’s business, but as Philips develops his company’s drone business he is looking beyond SAM’s traditional markets.

Drones can also carry tiny signal analyzers to measure the radiation patterns of the tower antennas, and can be used for radio planning and line-of-sight testing between towers. Recognizing the value of drones to the cell tower industry, the National Association of Tower Erectors (NATE) has established an unmanned aerial systems committee to monitor trends and regulatory concerns and to make recommendations about best practices for drone use in the tower industry. The committee works closely with the Federal Aviation Administration, which is still in the process of drafting rules for commercial drone use. Read More