In a ground-breaking collaboration, Simoco Wireless Solution's P25 radio equipment has been demonstrated transmitting from a Vocus skyborne mobile network drone capable of providing coverage across 28 square kilometres.
The Vocus drone solution combines an XM2 drone and ground-based power system and Vocus Satellite – Starlink connectivity, with private LTE (4G) and Simoco P25 radio equipment payloads. The result is a highly autonomous tethered drone system which can quickly be launched to provide connectivity in situations where existing coverage is not available or has been damaged in an extreme weather or natural disaster event.
The solution redefines the boundaries of wireless communication capabilities. This powerful combination of technology allows the drone to act as a mobile tower in the skies, granting connectivity across expansive areas, covering up to 28 square kilometres for 4G and even further for P25.
The drone is powered by XM2’s EON800 Tether System, which allows it to remain airborne almost indefinitely (with a brief landing for mechanical maintenance checks every 12 hours) and makes it an invaluable asset for supporting emergency services during rescue and recovery operations. Additionally, the solution enables LTE Push to talk over cellular (PTToC) for users who lack access to P25 terminals.
XM2's contribution to this innovative solution is significant, particularly with their EON800 Tether System and XTD-120 Drone. This technology integration enhances the drone's capabilities, ensuring it can serve as a reliable airborne mobile tower during natural disasters and other connectivity-challenged scenarios.
Imagine a scenario where an individual becomes lost in a remote, rugged mountainous region with no cellular reception. In such cases, first responders, working closely with the person's mobile carrier, could employ the drone to establish a new coverage zone, enabling communication with the missing person. Similarly, during natural disasters that disrupt or damage mobile towers, in partnership with mobile carriers, the drone could serve as a reliable airborne mobile tower, restoring vital connectivity.
Peter Scarlata, CEO Simoco Australasia, said: “We are thrilled to join forces with Vocus and XM2 to offer cutting-edge connectivity solutions to our customers. By combining private LTE technology, Vocus Satellite – Starlink, and our P25 technology with XM2’s drone integration, we are pushing the boundaries of what is possible in terms of wireless communication and data transmission. We look forward to empowering businesses across industries to overcome connectivity challenges and unlock the full potential of their operations”.
“Vocus is very proud to be working with Simoco and its Australian-developed radio solution for emergency services,” said Simon Lardner, Head of Wireless Business, Vocus. “Simoco’s P25 technology is perfectly suited to rapid deployment via drone, creating a blanket of two-way radio coverage for first responders in less than an hour.
“By integrating XM2's EON800 Tether System and XTD-120 Drone with Vocus Satellite – Starlink and Simoco's advanced P25 technology, Emergency Services' communication can be significantly enhanced.” Said Beau Damon, Technical Integration Manager, XM2. "We take pride in deploying the world's most powerful tether systems to first responders globally. As an Australian company, and with our products engineered and made in Melbourne, we’re excited to launch our technology here locally.”
Simoco Wireless Solutions, Vocus and XM2 are excited about the endless possibilities and positive impact this collaboration will bring to organisations globally. The integration of private LTE technology and P25 technology in conjunction with this drone solution will enable businesses and agencies to overcome connectivity limitations and improve operational efficiencies.