In the Broadway musical masterpiece “Oklahoma”, courtesy of the genius of Rogers and Hammerstein, there is a song called, “Everything’s Up To Date in Kansas City.” It starts as follows:
I went to Kansas City on a Friday
By Saturday I learned a thing or two
But up 'till then I didn't have an idea
Of what the mod'rn world was comin' to.
The rest of the lyrics to what is one of my favorite shows are equally strangely modern. In fact, here is the YouTube link for those who may not know the score.
What makes Kansas City so up-to-date today is a posting on AndroidHeadlines.com that Nokia (News - Alert) will soon be putting on a proof of concept (POC) involving, of all things, drones.
Nokia is planning to fly three drones over the Kansas City Speedway as early as mid-June. They will be wired up with two Samsung Galaxy S4 units and an LG G2 (News - Alert) unit, in an effort to test signal strength and find out which radio waves are reachable as the drones make their flight.
What is known is that Nokia has applied for special temporary authority (STA) with the FCC (News - Alert) for the drone trials and that the plans are to use one drone as the control unit while testing the remaining two for strength and accessibility. During the planned three-month period, the drone tests will measure AT&T’s LTE (News - Alert) networks on the frequencies of 1700-2100MHz and 1900MHz.
The goal of the testing as specified in Nokia’s application is to use the PoC to collect RF data for mobile network optimization. By measuring RF performance in a space populated by many people at specific times, the company is looking to determine how well the network performs and potentially find ways to improve it.
As the posting notes, prep work and NDA requirements mean little else is known about the full scope of the PoC. It also said that this will not be a first in terms of drone use by communications companies. In fact, the utility of drones for use in comms is growing. This includes T-Mobile (News - Alert) using them for tower inspections and comments from their U.S. CEO and President John Legere that he expects them to be used for telephony apps soon.
For those of use with a little industry experience behind us, this may sound like déjà vu to a certain extent. Going back over several decades, non-satellite high altitude vehicles as communications platforms for advanced networking have been the subject of several proposals. These include using airlines when in-flight and modern dirigibles (aka hot air balloons).
In short, everything is going to be up-to-date in Kansas City, but unlike the refrain in the song this is the beginning of something with a lot of promise and not “about as far as they can go.”
Edited by Ken Briodagh