Telia's commercial drone streaming service takes off
Telia and Ericsson ONE have partnered to develop a new video streaming solution for drones that makes it easier to inspect hard-to-access places in a secure way. The solution is the first in Sweden to provide encrypted drone video streaming in real time to multiple people at the same time. A new partner program with select customers will further develop the solution and explore future opportunities.
Telia's new service for drones is based on a new mobility solution from Ericsson ONE, an accelerator for new business ideas, that enables customers to stream live video from a drone to a computer, tablet or smartphone in a simple and secure way.
The service uses Telia's mobile network and is encrypted all the way, from the drone to the end user. The broadcast can be followed live by staff who get a snapshot of the situation and can detect if anything needs to be fixed. Decisions can be made instantly; train traffic can restart quickly after an incident, electricity can be switched on faster after a storm. The solution will help make inspection of hard-to-access places such as forests, tall buildings and power grids easier, safer as well as more environmentally friendly and cost effective.
“Drones have matured from being a fun hobby and for photography to creating benefits for people, companies and society at large. There is great demand for this type of secure and robust services and 5G will open up even more possibilities around drones in future. Shipping, transport and travel will ultimately be fully automated, saving time, money and environmental impact,” says Jan Pettersson, who leads the drone project at Telia.
The new solution works with existing drones with no additional hardware required – getting started is easy by connecting the controller to a mobile router and downloading an app.
Partner program to explore new opportunities
Telia is launching a program in February together with customers Vattenfall, Eon, Veidekke, Peab and Vinnova who will use drone streaming in various ways in their operations. Telia and Ericsson ONE will, together with the customers, evaluate the service continuously with the ambition to design tomorrow's drone services with a focus on 5G.
Swedish utility Vattenfall has participated in the pilot project and sees significant potential to use the service in several business areas that place high demands on safety and reliability.
“Vattenfall sees great opportunities with drone services for several business areas. We already use drones for digital inspections in hydropower and nuclear power plants, and we see many new applications as a result of the rapid development that is taking place in the area. Drones give us the opportunity to perform tasks in a faster, safer and more cost-effective way,” says Anders Wik, Digitalization project manager at Vattenfall R&D.
“Drones will continue to play an even greater role in our lives. We are working towards a future where drones can be safely and efficiently steered beyond sight, which will help companies streamline their operations and keep their staff safe. Our new video streaming solution for drones is an important step towards that future and towards faster and better decision-making,” says Fredrik Flyrin, who leads the new mobility solution for drones from Ericsson ONE.