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Connected Drone Testing


Ericsson Connected Drone Testing enables service providers to move forward with a proven solution for drone testing on LTE networks as a first step in transforming their systems and processes to support UAVs.

In today’s market, drone technology offers a range of new opportunities. The Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) predicts that by 2025, the drone market will generate a USD 82 billion economic impact and account for 100,000 jobs in the US alone. Knowing this, service providers are seeking to support “connected drones” on their LTE networks.  But more useful, less limited drones require the more scalable, reliable, and secure connectivity that mobile LTE and 5G networks provide.

Ericsson Connected Drone Testing enables service providers to move forward with a proven solution for drone testing on LTE...


Comprehensive service scope

The test scope includes in-lab testing of the connected drone chipset and module, cybersecurity testing of LTE and/or Wi-Fi enabled drones, field testing and real-time connected drone network performance analytics. Field testing in LTE and 5G networks uses a semi-autonomous drone testing platform with cloud based methodology for storing and processing the data collected.

Certified drone pilots

Ericsson uses certified drone pilots to support field campaigns and FAA approvals management capabilities. Proven flexible solution and scope which is adapted to fit the use case.

GSMA Foundry 5G Drone Testing with Ericsson

The GSMA Foundry program and Ericsson have performed an assessment of a variety network KPIs including signal strength, downlink, uplink, interference, and video performance with drone tests performed at 3 altitudes up to 400 ft.
Over sixty-five drone flights were conducted, covering over 16 hours of total flying time, over a two-week period during daytime in good weather conditions in residential, commercial, and suburban areas in both flat and hilly terrains. Two geographic areas were covered in two different states in the USA and each area spanned a radius of over half mile.

GSMA Foundry 5G Drone Testing

3D map of UAV network performance

Ericsson, GSMA, T-Mobile and Verizon are exploring the digital airspace and the establishment of cellular networks that can support UAV (Unmanned Aerial Vehicle) operations. The results are intended to demonstrate the scalability and applicability of networks  for common commercial scenarios, and a key focus of the project was on how this data can best be visualized. Ericsson Device Analytics was a key component in the project, as it is a multifaceted solution comprising a front-end client on the drone, and a sophisticated back-end visualization tool.

A 3D map of UAV network performance will prepare the industry for take-off
Using Ericsson’s Connected Drone Testing Benefits of Ericsson Connected Drone Testing Download links Links

Through the Connected Drone Testing service, we provide a full suite of testing services covering the following areas:

  • In-lab connected drone chipset and module testing, assuring the interoperability and optimal performance of connected drone chipsets and modules with the actual LTE mobile network infrastructure found in service provider networks around the world
  • CTIA c ybersecurity t esting of drones per our CTIA Authorized Test Lab (CATL) to optimize the behavior of drones on LTE networks. The semi-autonomous drone testing platform has been modified to support LTE devices, enabling data collection from both drone  communication devices and networks, with the  methodology for storing and processing collected data developed to facilitate data analysis and reporting
  • Real-time connected drone network performance analytics, supported by Ericsson Device Analytics (EDA), providing data capturing and processing in real time across urban, residential, and rural routes of critical key performance indicators (KPIs) to enable control center decision -making

The benefits of using Ericsson Connected Drone Testing services include attaining:

  • Certified drone pilots to support field campaigns
  • FAA approvals management 
  • The ability to support drones with specifically engineered LTE RAN network characterization and optimization to operate them with minimal RF interference and enhanced link quality
  • Storage and processing of field testing data collected
  • A comprehensive service scope, including in-lab connected drone chipset and module testing, cybersecurity testing of drones, field testing, and real-time connected drone network performance analytics