Mobile giant EE has demonstrated technology that could boost coverage in rural areas, as well as eliminating downtime whilst existing infrastructure suffers damage or undergoes routine maintenance.
Up, up and away
The proposed technology consists of helium balloons and drones, fitted with small mobile sites including a base station and antenna and EE has announced it is planning to trial the system in a rural part of the UK later this year.
The drones can stay airborne for around an hour and are primarily designed to provide a boost in coverage to aid search and rescue teams, whilst the “Helikite” balloons could provide signal for several weeks thanks to their tethered power source.
Mobile coverage for all
Despite mobile 4G being offered in towns and cities throughout the UK, there are many remote areas that struggle to get any kind of signal at all, something that EE Chief Executive Marc Allera appears to recognise:
“Innovation is essential for us to go further than we’ve ever gone, and deliver a network that’s more reliable than ever before,” he said, before going on to say “Rural parts of the UK provide more challenges to mobile coverage than anywhere else, so we have to work harder there – developing these technologies will ultimately help our customers, even in the most hard to reach areas.”
Here at Planet Numbers we see increased mobile coverage as a tremendous step forward – after all, why should those in our beautiful rural areas only be able to take advantage of our exceptional service whilst at home or in the office?