Nokia and Rohde & Schwarz Win FCC Certification for Drone Network

January 11, 2024 by Darshil Patel

Following successful collaboration with Rohde & Schwarz to secure FCC certification, Nokia Drone Networks has launched in North America.

Nokia and Rohde & Schwarz recently announced that the Nokia Drone Networks solution has been certified by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). 

This collaboration is a response to the proliferation of fifth-generation (5G) cellular networks, which open new possibilities for drones and other aerial technologies. With 5G's high speed, low latency, and massive capacity, drones can evolve from simple remote-controlled devices to autonomous machines with enhanced capabilities and broader applications.


Nokia drone

Nokia drone with dual gimbal and parachute. Image used courtesy of Nokia


With Nokia Drone Networks' FCC certification, Nokia hopes to commercialize industrial-grade 4G/5G drone solutions for reliable beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) operations.


The Nokia Drone Networks

Nokia's 5G-connected, drone-in-a-box system is an end-to-end solution that combines 5G connectivity with the versatility of drones to improve aerial data collection and analysis. The solution consists of Nokia drones, a docking station, a ground control station running on edge cloud, and added equipment like a dual gimbal camera. 

The docking station serves as the central hub for the drone system, providing charging, data offloading, and mission management capabilities. It also provides an enclosure for the network gateway, enabling secure and reliable connectivity to 4G/LTE and 5G networks. The ground control station is the command center for drone operations, allowing users to plan, monitor, and control multiple drones.


Docking station

Docking station of the drone networks solution. Image used courtesy of Nokia

Nokia drones can also be equipped with other payloads like loudspeakers, searchlights, or customizable sensors for smoke, motion, and radiation. Customers can use a Nokia payload and software development kit with various customizations according to the use case.

The platform also includes standard safety features like automatic parachute deployment and can withstand harsh conditions. Combining these advantages with 4G/5G networks, Nokia claims its drones can be useful for critical missions in industries like energy, construction, agriculture, mining, public safety, telecommunications, and utilities.


Nokia Collaborates With Rohde & Schwarz for FCC Certification

Nokia and Rohde & Schwarz first collaborated in 2022 to embed QualiPoc 4.9G/LTE and 5G network measurement capabilities into Nokia's Drone Networks platform. 

Now, to obtain FCC certification, Nokia has leveraged the R&S CMX500 radio communication tester for radiated and conducted emission testing in the Nokia Bell Labs Global Product and Compliance Laboratory. Nokia noted that the flexible web-based R&S CMsquares user interface was very helpful in conducting the protocol tests.


R&S CMX500

R&S CMX500. Image used courtesy of Rohde & Schwarz

The two companies assert that 5G speeds can quickly transmit high-resolution video, sensor data, and control signals between drones and ground stations. This certification will enable the integration of multiple drones into a single network. 5G's capacity ensures that the drone swarms can operate effectively without disrupting each other's network.