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AT&T Drone program to improve network

AT&T is looking into new ways to use drones to enhance its LTE network.

What if a drone could provide you with better network?


Drones could provide enhanced networks according to AT&T.

Daniel Terdiman/CNET

That is what AT&T intends to do in the future. The carrier wants to use drones as a way to temporarily boost LTE networks, said John Donovan, AT&T's chief strategy officer, in a blog post Wednesday.

While it is not a reality yet, AT&T has been working on using drones for various purposes over the past year. This week, the company also launched its national drone program. AT&T will be using drones to perform aerial inspections of cell towers, allowing the carrier to collect data and make real time changes to the networks.

The experience gained from the drone program could help AT&T launch a new drone feature called Flying COWs (Cell on Wings), which could enhance LTE coverage at large events like concerts and even provide extra connectivity during disasters and emergency situations.

AT&T will present the drone program at its SHAPE Conference in San Francisco July 15-16. While this seems exciting, there is still a long way to go before we stop getting upload error messages from Facebook and Instagram at big events.