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TEOCO and partners prepare for operational UAV traffic over Swisscom cellular network

By Chris Stonor

TEOCO, “A leading provider of analytics, assurance and optimisation solutions” to over 300 communication service providers (CSPs) and OEMs worldwide, together with partner Strapag, announced this week a partnership on TEOCO’s AirborneRF to enable the operational deployment of drones over Swisscom’s cellular network, reports a company press release.

This collaboration builds on the initial TEOCO and Swisscom partnership in 2020 that focused on initial analysis and optimisation of the network for unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) traffic.

Now Swisscom’s network is ready to support commercial UAV traffic, the new engagement sees TEOCO’s AirborneRF solution extended for commercial opportunities.

“AirborneRF,” says the release, “is to be employed to bridge the gap between the cellular and aviation world, allowing different drone ecosystem players to come together to engage with the live Swisscom network data.”

It goes on, “This will enable new operational use cases, such as the use of drones in emergency scenarios, in industrial inspections, in search & rescue, or in logistics.”

Manfred Bacher, Drone Solutions Lead at Swisscom, said, “This is an exciting moment for Swisscom, as we prepare our cellular network to support commercial drone operations. We are now focused on ensuring that drone ecosystem partners have access to the required live data for safe future drone operations, and are able to leverage our network to unlock new use cases.”

Via this partnership, Swisscom benefits from TEOCO’s leadership in aviation standardisation and regulation. Most recently, TEOCO played a leading role in contributing to the creation of the Network Coverage Service Interface, an outcome of the cooperation agreement between the GSMA and Global UTM Association (GUTMA), the Aerial Connectivity Joint Activity (ACJA) initiative, that aims to align the objectives of the global mobile and unmanned aircraft traffic management (UTM) industries.

The release points out, “TEOCO’s AirborneRF is the first industry solutions recognised as fulfilling the global specification requirements defined by the ACJA Network Coverage Service Interface.”

Thomas Neubauer, VP Innovations at TEOCO, commented, “We’re delighted to be continuing our partnership with Swisscom to see the capabilities of AirborneRF validated for drone operations. We’re now entering the next phase towards operational deployments and we’re looking forward to seeing how AirborneRF can integrate the cellular and aviation world to enable new drone use cases and help Swisscom engage with new partners, customers, and regulatory and standards bodies.”

Thomas Neubauer

Already deployed by several tier-one operators globally, AirborneRF assesses the flight path to ensure a UAV can maintain adequate and continuous cellular coverage for every flight. The release explains, “It assures minimum performance-based requirements and live information during flight operations to cope with the dynamic behaviour of the cellular infrastructure.”

And goes on, “In addition, AirborneRF provides ground risk information for specific operational risk assessments (SORA) and optionally monitors and logs communications signal performance across the entire flight path.”


TEOCO products help provide insights into network and customer behaviour including the optimisation, effective monetisation, and delivery of new and existing services, such as 5G.

Swisscom is Switzerland’s leading telecoms company and one of its leading IT companies. Swisscom has a presence on the Italian market in the guise of Fastweb. To the end of Q1 2021 over 19,000 employees generated sales of CHF2,803 million. It is 51 percent Confederation-owned. Swisscom cooperates with start-ups and research institutes and is part of the Swiss U-Space initiative facilitated by the Federal Office of Civil Aviation (FOCA) intending to positively contribute to the development of the Swiss U-Space.

STRAPAG is a service and solution provider in the field of wireless technologies and communication systems including delivering services, running simulations and carrying out component evaluations as well as plan and manage projects. It also provides wireless solutions including for drones.

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