Nokia teamed with Rohde & Schwarz to get Federal Communications Commission (FCC) certification for a 4G/5G drone-in-a-box offering which it claimed was a significant step towards providing US customers with an industrial-grade beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) service.

The decision marked the FCC’s first full certification of a native 4G/5G drone-in-a-box service. The Nokia Drone Networks platform taps a large set of 3GPP-compliant spectrum bands to enable real-time streaming of data collected during a drone mission in a remote area.

Nokia and Rohde & Schwarz signed a Memorandum of Understanding in 2022 to integrate the network testing company’s QualiPoc 4.9G/LTE and 5G measurement capabilities into the Finnish vendor’s drone platform.

.”Extending the cooperation to device testing and certification, Nokia collaborated with Rohde & Schwarz to complete the FCC’s rigorous requirements for R&D component testing,” it stated.

Nokia explained its drone platform includes full network connection redundancy, multi-operator compatibility and hot failover.

Thomas Eder, head of embedded wireless solutions at Nokia, said it is “shaping the path in the US for industrial and public sector use cases, improved 5G spectrum monetisation and the nationwide roll-out of drones for BVLOS operations”.

In May, Nokia won a contract to supply a drone network platform and 70 units to specialist Belgian provider Citymesh to provide aerial data to emergency services.