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Nokia deploys drones to inspect du's network

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Nokia Networks has used drones to conduct network testing for Middle Eastern operator du.

Smartphones were fitted to the drones, which flew around the Dubai International Stadium gathering network data and key performance indicators.

The army of drones also carried out tower inspection, radio planning and line of sight testing of the network infrastructure. Nokia Networks said the drones were quicker and safer than technicians manually inspecting hardware, especially when they have to climb towers.

According to the vendor, using drones is also more efficient as they are able to deliver panoramic and top-down views of each piece of infrastructure.

Tony Awad, Head of du Customer Team, Nokia Networks, said: "Drones are becoming a common phenomenon across the world and multiple sectors are embracing the benefits drones bring such as faster deliveries in logistics or delivering emergency services in health care. In the telecoms sector, certain operators have already embraced the use of drones for telecom tower audits."

In May, Ericsson teamed up with Greek operator Cosmote to use drones to inspect its network. The two companies also used wearables in a demonstration of how different connected devices could measure network performance.

Marwan BinShakar, Vice President, Mobile Access Network & Operations at du, said: "Innovation is the lifeblood of the UAE's smart city future, and we are proud to successfully demonstrate our network capabilities. Together with Nokia Networks, we are satisfied with the results from the use of drones for network planning and faster optimisation in specific location at Dubai International Stadium, as well as for radio planning and tower inspection which will result in greater efficiency and improved safety."