Huawei wants to create drone-friendly mobile networks

CEO Ken Hu kicks off Huawei's eighth Global Mobile Broadband Forum

Huawei wants to connect drones to mobile networks to help them fly faster, more efficient routes.

Ken Hu, deputy chairman and rotating CEO of Huawei, revealed the company's Digital Sky initiative during its Global Mobile Broadband Forum in London today, saying: "As an industry we have spent 30 years connecting the [internet] service of the Earth, but now we're going to get everything connected up to 300 metres in the air.

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"This is as high as the Shard tower in London, it is really amazing."

Huawei hopes to eventually get more than 30% of commercial drones connected to mobile networks through the initiative (depending on legal restrictions), and to create low airspace digital networks suitable for commercial use by 2020, following field tests in 2019.

Hu also mentioned Huawei's new, if unlikely, one billion subscribers; connected cows.

"The telco carriers helped the dairy farmers to connect more than one million cows with [Huawei's] NarrowBand IoT technology [which allows devices to connect to the network using cellular telecommunication bands]," said Hu.

This is done through a collar attached to the cows which, allows farmers to locate them more easily. Additionally, it gives farmers information about their movement patterns and body temperature, which helped the farmers generate an extra $420 per cow each year.

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