“Innovation Lab Update” features the latest advances in Syniverse’s demonstration, development and testing center that brings together our customers, partners and other technology players in experimental collaborations.
With Richard Hodges, Director, Innovation Lab
What’s going on in the lab this month?
We’re helping develop an internet connectivity solution for drones, or unmanned aerial vehicles. Drones are opening a new era in our ability to remotely collect and transmit data and to retrieve and deliver objects. Not only do they offer quicker, more cost-efficient, and more convenient ways to monitor and manage things, but they can take over jobs considered to be dull, dirty, or dangerous. For example, drones can be used for such things as monitoring and relaying data on crops for large agricultural operations, as well as for inspecting the performance of sensitive industrial plant operations. As a result of this expanding use of these machines, it’s become increasingly crucial that drone communications are kept secure, reliable and compatible with different network coverage areas. This is where Syniverse and our partners come in.
What is a private LTE network exactly?
Private Long Term Evolution (LTE) networks are localized systems designed to serve specific business, government or educational purposes with optimized features. This technology is enabling communication service providers and businesses to transform the way that they get local mobile connectivity as well as the quality and security of this connectivity. This includes providers, like mobile and cable operators; large campuses and venues, such as schools, airports, and stadiums; and other businesses and multi-dwelling units. These organizations can now set up their very own dedicated mobile networks to take advantage of the considerable benefits enabled through private LTE:
- Higher security and separation from other networks.
- Higher transmission speed.
- Higher data capacity.
- Lower latency (lag time).
- Greater coverage.
- Lower cost of ownership.
- Easier deployment.
- Easier maintenance.
What are some practical uses for this new solution?
There are several applications for the remote operation of drones from what is termed beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS), and these use cases are expanding all the time. Many of these involve sensitive commercial data and even national-security information, and it’s crucial that these communications be kept secure, their ability to communicate at all times be kept reliable, and the speed, latency, and data capacity of their communications be kept consistent. Private LTE offers precisely the superior reach, performance and security needed to do this.
Here some common drone applications today:
- Express shipping and delivery.
- Disaster management surveillance and rescue operations.
- Search and rescue operations.
- Geographic mapping of inaccessible terrain and locations.
- Building safety inspections.
- Precision crop monitoring.
- Unmanned cargo transport.
- Storm tracking and forecasting of hurricanes and tornadoes.
- Law enforcement and border control surveillance.
- Military operations.
What are the next steps in developing the solution?
Our next steps are to finish our testing, make final modifications, and determine a date and plan to go to market.
This project builds on some big achievements we made in private LTE in the Lab last year. These achievements included teaming with Ruckus Networks and Federated Wireless to develop a private, high-speed, highly secure wireless network at Syniverse’s headquarters in Tampa. Through that project and others at the Lab, we’ve been able to gain firsthand experience in planning, building, and deploying private LTE networks, and we look forward to applying this knowledge to our work with partners and customers in helping them set up this type of network.
To learn more about the Lab, visit our Innovation Lab site.