As the worldwide 5G rollout moves along, Nokia continues to assert their position as a major player by sending a stream of applications for testing to the FCC. Not all of them are directly related to 5G testing, of course; the latest special temporary application from Nokia does pertain to modern network testing, but it will be testing existing networks and is unique in that it will be done with drones. Specifically, three drones will be wired up with commercially available smartphones, with one of the three acting as a control unit, to test signal strength and which radio waves are reachable as the drones fly around.
Testing will take place at the Kansas City Speedway. The networks being measured include AT&T's LTE networks on the frequencies of 1700-2100MHz and 1900MHz. While the drones will be giving the three smartphones a boost, not all of their possible bands will be activated. The AT&T AWS bands mentioned above will be active, but the cellular band, 850MHz, will not be active or involved in the testing in any way. An RC plane receiver will also be on hand to take measurements and possibly provide backup control for the drones. Carrying two Samsung Galaxy S4 units and an LG G2 unit, the testing triad will be conducting a proof of concept of sorts, measuring overall signal strength at a place where people tend to gather.
The testing, which is scheduled to begin on June 15, will have a three-month availability window, during which Nokia has not indicated exactly what days they will be conducting tests. The registration for the testing is under Nokia-owned Alcatel-Lucent. Zaheer Rahmani, listed as the best contact for the FCC to inquire about the STA, did not respond to a request for comment from Fierce Wireless, saying that the tests were still in the planning phase and had a customer involved. The model of the drones to be used, as well as at what times and dates testing may take place or what kind of altitudes, areas, and flight patterns the testing will involve were all left undisclosed for the moment.