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AT&T wants drones to provide cell service at concerts

AT&T wants drones to provide cell service at concerts

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If you've ever been at a large event like a music festival, you're probably aware of just how awful cell service can get as hundreds or thousands of people all try Instagramming from the same spot. AT&T thinks it might have a solution.

In a blog post today, AT&T floated the idea of building cell extensions into drones and flying them in to handle high demand. It imagines using these drones for "large events or even rapid disaster response," the latter of which is really the more important application, since cell towers often get overloaded as people begin calling for assistance or trying to get in touch with their families. The only bad thing about this idea is that AT&T has decided to name the drones "Flying COWs," standing for "cell on wings."

AT&T is already using drones to inspect cell towers

Service providers already bring in signal boosters during some large events and disasters, but the advantage here is that drones could potentially be deployed quickly and reach areas that a truck toting cell equipment behind it could not.

AT&T is already putting drones to another use. Earlier this year, it announced plans to begin inspecting cell towers using drones, allowing the company to assess damage without sending a human up. It's supposed to be a safer and all around quicker method for inspections, although humans are still necessary for actually preforming any prepares.