When COWs Fly | Watch AT&T’s Cell on Wings (COW) in Action | AT&T

January 10, 2020

A flying COW is basically a cell tower in the sky. COW, in the way we use it here is “Cell on Wings.” As opposed to a terrestrial COW which is “Cell on Wheels.” So we’ve come out to rural Georgia to watch a COW fly. In this case it is a drone that is connected with a tether to the ground. The tether has power and it has fiber so that the drone can broadcast data into our network. So you can use a cell phone, you can text, surf the internet, take a selfie, whatever you normally do, send that signal up to the drone, from the drone goes through tether down to a router that then pushes it through a satellite link into the cloud, into AT&T’s network. There’s several advantages with COWs in various use cases. For one, being in disaster recovery, say the network goes down for whatever reason, a hurricane or tornado; we can rapidly deploy a COW. They are very fast to put up and establish connectivity for our customers. They are also very fast to relocate. For example, firefighters that are responding to a moving fire line in the forest, we can put up the flying COW and we can also take it down and redeploy it, move it as the fire line shifts. The takeaway from this is that this is the next step and evolution. We’re taking LTE technology to the sky. We’re able to reach areas that we weren’t able to easily reach in the past, more mobile, more connected, more opportunity to serve our customers. ♫ sonic logo ♫

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