Home5G & BeyondVodafone Germany, FlyNex launch DroNet Hub for commercial flights

    Vodafone Germany, FlyNex launch DroNet Hub for commercial flights


    The operator is also expanded its 5G in Düsseldorf using existing advertising columns

    Vodafone Germany and data collection company FlyNex have launched DroNet Hub, an online platform. It is designed help businesses plan and manage commercial drone flights which is typically complex and time-consuming.

    The plan is to make commercial drones available to any company with a few clicks of a mouse, and make it easy for them to plan, control and analyse flights.

    There are many aspects to drone flights, from the necessary approval of the flight and its trajectory to the quality of network coverage to ensure control. After a flight, recorded images or data recorded has to be evaluated thoroughly and quickly.

    Vodafone says DroNet Hub covers all these areas from planning the flight to automated data collection and reporting using AI for analysis. The reports can be used to create digital twins of the monitored area.

    The DroNet Connect Stream tariff comes with a data volume of 500GB which can be expanded to 1TB to ensure consistent transmission of live data from the drone to the Hub. Data from the mobile network is ingested to help understand the connectivity and population density that lies ahead on a flight path.

    Early detection of infrastructural damage

    A primary use of the new service is expected to be the inspection of infrastructure such as industrial plants, electricity pylons and wind farms. It provides a faster, cheaper, safer option and don’t require any humans on site. They can also provide the information to build a digital twin.

    More info here [in German].

    Advertising columns host 5G antenna

    Meanwhile, in Düsseldorf, Vodafone has turned 100 advertising columns in Düsseldorf into 5G base stations. Stephan Schneider, Head of Political Communication NRW at Vodafone, explained in a statement: “The advertising columns in Düsseldorf, which have been part of the cityscape for decades, are experiencing a technical renaissance. The pilot project shows how existing structures can be modernized and the mobile network can be expanded in a space-saving manner.”

    The operator says a further 50 advertising columns will be equipped with 5G in the next two years. Vodafone also stated that this initiative ensures better reception and network stability than alternatives. At the same time, it overcomes a major problem facing all operators in Germany when the want to expand or densify 5G coverage – availability of additional sites for equipment and the protracted process of obtaining permission to install equipment.

    Three 5G antennas and all the other technology usually mounted on masts at conventional base station sites are built into the domed roof of the ad columns, which have a concrete body 4.79 metres tall high and 1.62 metres wide. Constructing a 5G advertising column takes less than half the time of a traditional site.

    The installed 5G antennas were built in cooperation with Ericsson and each serves a radius of around 400 meters. On average, there are almost 6,000 connections per column with 5G smartphones daily and an average of around 200 GB of data per column flows through Vodafone’s 5G network every week.

    Germany’s Federal Network Agency has recognised the safety of the columns, awarding them a location certificate.