- DT partners with BMVI‑funded KODRONA research project, supporting development of BVLOS drone flight for improved medical logistics.
- Campus Network M product included in partnership.
Deutsche Telekom (DT) highlighted involvement in KODRONA, a research project investigating the use of drone technology to transport medicines between hospitals and labs. It will set up a campus network for the project, enabling communication between drones and the KODRONA control centre.
DT joins a project already in motion, offering Campus‑Netz M, its mid-tier private network solution, to support continued testing. Using a 2.5km test route for beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) drone flights, KODRONA is transporting medical supplies between three hospitals in the city of Siegen. It will develop collision avoidance techniques and prove the benefits of drone flight in the reduction of carbon emissions. It also aims to prove the viability of drone flights for medical logistics in accordance with law and safety guidelines. In July 2020 the European Union (EU) relaxed and simplified drone legislation, allowing pilots to fly in designated zones with a permit. The new EU rules make it easier — on paper, at least — to conduct BVLOS drone test flights.
KODRONA’s initial proof‑of‑concept phase is now completed, having run from July 2019 to February 2020. Primary partners were the University of Siegen together with DRK Kinderklinik, the city’s children’s hospital, and Microdrones, an unmanned aerial vehicle solutions provider operating out of the city. Two other city hospitals were named associated partners alongside IT solutions provider Guntermann & Drunck. It appears that DT has joined the project as a lead partner, alongside the University of Siegen.
The KODRONA project is part‑funded by the Bundesministerium für Verkehr und digitale Infrastruktur (Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure), up to a total of €435,023 (£392,432). Pending further funding, a new round of tests will begin in early‑2021.
The KODRONA project ties together two technology streams the operator has placed substantial emphasis on in recent months.
DT has flagged several partnerships and investment in unmanned flight, be it in drone detection or drone flight itself. Most recently with a DroneShield tie‑up, but also through Droniq, it’s joint venture (JV) with Deutsche Flugsicherung, the German air traffic control service (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #94). Interestingly, Droniq is not involved with the KODRONA project, despite naming BVLOS flight for enterprise and public organisations a key part of its focus.
Secondly, campus and private networks. Alongside strategic partner Ericsson, DT has made public several (largely pilot) campus network deployments across Europe and begun marketing a three‑tiered proposition to clients: Campus Network L; M; and S. The M solution, as deployed in the KODRONA project, uses existing masts to create a virtual private network, as opposed to the L offering, which necessitates the installation of dedicated antennas and a local core network (Deutsche Telekomwatch, #96).