After dominating telecom and wireless communications in most countries of the world, Vodafone is now said to be switching gears and moving towards management of unmanned aerial vehicles which are also called drones, in Europe. For this, Vodafone would use its wireless networks, which it claims to be superior.
Now, as per European authorities, it is estimated that there would be at least 400,000 drones connected to the government as well as commercial sectors, which would be in active operation by 2035. A majority of these drones are also estimated to hover around in residential areas at levels that are considered to be dominantly visible to the naked human eye.
With effective management, UAVs could enter mainstream in greater numbers, and earlier than expected.
The number of drones flying at low-altitudes is also expected to rapidly multiply by 2050. Aerial vehicles manned by authorised personnel are expected to be 33 million in number. These would be flying over airspace under government control.
Vodafone is said to have submitted a proposal, to manage UAVs, to the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) that recently invited interest from parties with respect to coming out with ideas concerning regulation, management and certification of UAVs (in at least the European Union).
"Licensed mobile technology can offer a safe, secure and practical option for the air traffic control of drone flights, especially around locations such as airports and prisons", stated, Robert MacDougall who is heading the enterprise public policy unit at Vodafone, to the Financial Times.
At this juncture, it is worth noting that drones could be programmed to take a SIM card-like enhancement that is continuously tracked by a wireless network. Management of drones would prevent mid-air collision along with preventing the flights from entering 'no fly zones'. However, official confirmation with regard to drone traffic management in Europe is yet to be officially announced either by the EASA or Vodafone.