Nokia to develop drone traffic system for Dubai


Nokia has been tasked with developing a traffic management system for drones by the United Arab Emirates General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA), as part of a wider smart city initiative for the city of Dubai.

The Finnish vendor is developing a traffic management concept for drones, or ‘unmanned aerial vehicles’ (UAVs), to control and coordinate their operation by businesses and government agencies.

Specifically, it said its UAV traffic management system (UTM) will be able to monitor airspace and flight paths, and share data between UAVs, operators and air traffic controllers, and establish no-fly zones.

Nokia's nascent UTM platform combines 4G LTE technology and its developing 5G and Mobile Edge Computing capabilities.

It said it will optimise LTE networks for UTM connectivity, and integrate its UTM into other application platforms.

Nokia noted the increasing use of drones in infrastructure monitoring and maintenance, and in applications for public safety, logistics and transport.

Bernard Najm, Head of the Middle East Market Unit at Nokia, said: “This collaboration with the GCAA, the first of its kind in the world, gives us a unique and extensive test bed where we can trial and refine our UAV Traffic Management system, and shape the future of UAV management overall.”

Last month, Nokia announced it was trialling an air traffic management system for drones at Twente Airport in the Netherlands.

Last week, Deutsche Telekom said it is to launch a cross-industry research project to establish if its network can be used to connect drones to the internet, and to monitor their flight within other air traffic.