Nokia drone tech certified by FCC

Nokia’s Drone Networks solution has been certified by the Federal Communications Commission.

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According to a statement from Nokia and its partner Rohde & Schwarz, it is the FCC’s “first full certification of a native 4G/5G drone-in-a-box solution.” The statement continues that it is "a significant step in providing US customers with a proven, industrial-grade 4G/5G drone solution built for reliable beyond visual line of sight [BVLOS] operations.

“Going forward,” the statement continued, “Nokia will leverage its recently announced US partnerships for private LTE and 5G solutions to accelerate the market entry.”

The company states that it “prioritised robust and reliable connectivity” in the design of its drone solution, in order to accommodate real time data streaming. Features include full network connection redundancy, multi-operator support and “hot failover.”

Discussing the certification, Nokia head of embedded wireless solutions, Thomas Eder, said:This achievement highlights the vital role that collaboration and diligent testing play in the 5G era. By meeting the FCC’s rigorous standards, we are shaping the path in the US for industrial and public sector use cases, improved 5G spectrum monetisation, and the nationwide roll-out of drones for BVLOS operations on 3GPP spectrum.

“With more than 675 private wireless customers worldwide - and leadership in building nationwide wireless networks - Nokia is well positioned to expand its market leadership into the US with a certified industrial grade drone-in-a-box solution.”

Olaf Heisch, director target accounts mobile network testing at Rohde & Schwarz, said: “This underscores the transformative capabilities of our radio communication tester R&S CMX500. Its role in securing FCC certification for Nokia Drone Networks is a testament to its pivotal position in driving innovation in the 5G and drone technology landscape.”

Ken Rehbehn, Principal Analyst at CritComm Insights noted that: "Nokia's approval for BVLOS operations is an important step forward for the company's drone ambitions that combine 4G/5G capabilities with advanced flight systems. Operating beyond traditional visual line-of-sight limitations expands opportunities in the public safety, utility, and transport markets essential to Nokia's enterprise strategy."