Christina Cardoza

Jul 13, 2016 2:15:02 PM

Have you ever been to a concert or sporting event and had trouble uploading pictures, making calls or sending messages? Network outages or poor connections at crowded events happen all the time. AT&T is looking to address that problem with the help of drones.

“Imagine you’re at a concert watching your favorite band, and out of the corner of your eye you notice a tethered drone hovering nearby,” wrote John Donovan, chief strategy officer and group president of AT&T Technology and Operations, in a blog post. “But this drone isn’t taking photos or videos of the band. It's temporarily providing enhanced LTE wireless coverage at the packed venue so you, along with thousands of others in attendance, can simultaneously send photos and videos to share the moment.”

This is just one of the many solutions AT&T wants to make a reality with the use of drones.

The company announced it is starting a trial phase for its national drone program. The program will be overseen by the company’s director of national mobility systems, Art Pregler, and will look into how drones can help improve customer experience.

“Art's team brings decades of military, flight control and tech experience to the job,” wrote Donovan. “This has allowed the team to hit the air flying, so to speak. We're already using drones to perform aerial inspections of our cell towers.”

The company is also looking into how drones can be used in other industries through its IoT team, led by senior vice president of IoT solutions Chris Penrose. His team will look into providing LTE coverage for events and disaster response, as well as enhancing the network in order to help insurance, farming, facility and asset inspection, and delivery service industries capture data more easily and reliably.

“We expect our experiences will lay the foundation for new, exciting drone applications,” Donovan wrote. “We're moving toward the future by pushing the envelope on what’s technologically possible for drones.”

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