When you think of the up-and-coming players in the commercial drone market, you might think of Amazon, or Google … but how about AT&T?
“AT&T is going to be one of the biggest users of drones in the United States,” Art Pregler, who heads AT&T’s drone program and serves as director of national mobility systems, told GeekWire in an interview.
That may sound like a bold statement – but Pregler is just reinforcing what John Donovan, AT&T’s chief strategy officer and president of technology and operations, said last month at the company’s Shape conference in San Francisco.
Long before Amazon gets its drone delivery fleet in operation in the United States, AT&T will be deploying fleets of robo-fliers across the nation, thanks to regulatory changes that took effect this week.
Because of those changes, AT&T is now able to use unmanned aircraft systems to inspect cellular towers and check cellphone reception in urban areas – including the University of Washington’s Husky Stadium, where the procedure is being demonstrated this week.