Verizon beefed up its Skyward drone management platform with 3D model and 2D mapping capabilities, seeking to position the unit to capitalise on growing use of the aerial vehicles by a range of businesses.

Skyward integrated its software with drone mapping specialist Pix4D to enable enterprises to produce meaningful data by creating, viewing, measuring and exporting the information to create maps and models using a web-based application.

The integration will enable enterprises to produce “business-ready data”, Skyward president Mariah Scott explained.

Mobile network operators and tower companies are among the many businesses employing drone data in their business. Scott said Skyward serves customers in the construction, energy and utility industries, along with the public sector.

When Verizon purchased Skyward in 2017, it stated a goal to streamline management of drone operations to help businesses create and manage services backed by its mobile private network, secure cloud interconnect and data analytics capabilities.

During its ownership, Skyward launched advanced airspace intelligence for drone pilots and helped the US Federal Aviation Administration inspect critical communications infrastructure.

Drones are often cited as a primary 5G use case, being expected to play a large role in surveillance and logistics as companies deploy private networks in factories, power grids and industrial sites.