New PolicyTracker Dossier on tomorrow’s spectrum challenge: drones
Nov 26, 2020 by Toby Youell


TagsUnmanned Aircraft Systems

Like 5G, the promise of Unmanned Aerial Systems is seemingly endless. They can help fire fighters survey burning buildings, enable precision agriculture, and can even make e-commerce deliveries. Of course, they can assist in that most important function of modern life: taking selfies.

But unlike 5G, there is no global consensus on which spectrum should be made available, and how. Instead, we have a patchwork of uncoordinated initiatives. Some of these are based on using existing ITU-R level allocations to aviation services, while other approaches are based on liberalising the rules for satellite and/or terrestrial mobile spectrum. Complicating the issue is the need to re-make air traffic control, itself a heavy user of spectrum, as stakeholders wonder how the legacy voice-based system of communications could cope with the coming influx of voiceless drones.

In a new Dossier, we unpack these issues. It includes the following research notes:

The Dossier is available to Spectrum Research Service subscribers here.