Saturday, 30 May 2020

Rakuten Mobile brings in drones for mast inspections

by Harry Baldock, Total Telecom
Tuesday 07 April 20

The drones will remove the need for in-person inspections, creating substantial savings

Rakuten Mobile is set to launch its commercial 4G network tomorrow in a move to shake up Japan’s telecoms space. Its aggressive pricing scheme will offer services at around half the cost of its competitors…

Rakuten Mobile is set to launch its commercial 4G network tomorrow in a move to shake up Japan’s telecoms space. Its aggressive pricing scheme will offer services at around half the cost of its competitors.

Even beyond the pricing scheme, the company is making a name for itself a something of a maverick, particularly championing Open RAN development as a way to compete with its well-established, more traditional rivals.
 
Today, the company has announced that it is not just thinking outside of the box when it comes to mobile service pricing, but outside of the mast when it comes to RAN maintenance. Rakuten will be leveraging its extensive group assets, this time in the form of Rakuten AirMap’s drones, to inspect its mobile masts.
 
The drones will use multi-angle photography to assess the radio masts, removing the need for in-person inspections. This not only saves money and time when it comes to personnel, but also reduces the safety risks to almost nothing.
 
Until now, Rakuten had simply been trialling the drone inspection of base stations, but it will now be pursuing the scheme at a national level. 
 
Rakuten Global and Rakuten AirMap are looking to make further use of drone applications throughout their business, starting with readying drones for emergency inspections during national disasters. 
 

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