Proximus, SkeyDrone and DroneMatrix have recently joined forces to develop an integrated platform, allowing drones to perform on-demand missions for business purposes. This platform is called the ‘6th NeTWorK’. After a first phase of commercial and technical testing, if successful, the three partners will bring this service to the market in a B2B environment before the end of 2021..
Companies trying to integrate the use of drones in their business operations in Belgium are facing many obstacles: drone technology requires a lot of expertise, regulation is strict and complex, and commercial services are still emerging. Even with these difficulties, the advantages of drones use (such as task and cost efficiency) are clear to many innovative businesses. That is why telecom operator Proximus, drone air traffic service provider skeydrone and drone hard- and software developer DroneMatrix have decided to join forces to tackle these obstacles. They are working on the development of an integrated platform, allowing drones to fly over Belgium in a controlled and secured way (compliant with Belgian and European regulations) within and beyond the visual line of sight for specific missions.
Each partner in the new cooperation brings a specific set of skills and knowledge to the table.
“We have been developing drones and their application software since the dawn of the industry in Belgium” says Frank Vanwelkenhuyzen, Chairman of DroneMatrix. “That R&D investment has put us in pole position to be a partner in this venture. It’s a good thing that we can focus on the know-how we have acquired here at home to develop this new technology”. Proximus will add expertise in Mobile 4G and 5G networks, system integration and data analytics:
“We consider this partnership to be very important, as it is a first and very concrete initiative whereby drones will use Proximus highly performant network and analytics for various missions like surveillance, asset and safety monitoring or logistics”, says Anne-Sophie Lotgering, Executive Vice-President Enterprise Business Unit of Proximus.
SkeyDrone – a subsidiary company of air traffic regulator skeyes – adds their expertise and competences in aerial traffic management and regulatory compliance. “Our interest in drones is clear. Our main concern is always safety
of all air traffic, be it manned or unmanned. We have supported the drone sector from the very beginning because we believe in its great economic value. And we are looking forward to provide our services in a world where the
skies are being regulated like clockwork. That is why, as a forerunner in unmanned air traffic, we are fully committed to this collaboration”, says Hendrik-Jan Van Der Gucht, Managing Director of SkeyDrone.
This project called the ‘6th NeTWorK’ will start off with a first phase of technical development in 2021, alongside an extended market study. If the outcome is positive, the second phase will contain the commercialisation of the various B2B drone services by the end of that same year.
Proximus Group (Euronext Brussels: PROX) is a provider of digital services and communication solutions operating in the Belgian and international markets. Delivering communication and entertainment experiences for residential consumers and enabling digital transformation for enterprises, we open up a world of digital opportunities, so people live better and work smarter. Thanks to advanced, interconnected fixed and mobile networks, Proximus provides access anywhere and anytime to digital services and data, as well as to a broad offering of multimedia content. Proximus is a pioneer in ICT innovation, with integrated solutions based on IoT, Data analytics, cloud and security.
Proximus has the ambition to become the reference operator in Europe through next generation networks, a truly digital mindset and a spirit of openness towards partnerships and ecosystems, while contributing to a safe, sustainable, inclusive and prosperous digital Belgium.
In Belgium, Proximus’ core products and services are offered under the Proximus and Scarlet brands. The Group is also active in Luxembourg under the brand names Tango and Telindus Luxembourg, and in the Netherlands through Telindus Netherlands. The Group’s international carrier activities are managed by BICS, a leading international communications enabler, one of the key global voice carriers and the leading provider of mobile data services worldwide.
With its 12,931 employees, all committed to providing a superior customer experience, the Group achieved underlying Group turnover of EUR 5,686 million at the end of 2019.
SkeyDrone is a fully-owned subsidiary of skeyes – the Belgian air navigation service provider – created in 2020 with the ambition to enable the use of a seamless airspace with equitable access rights for all types of airspace users. In the field of drone traffic management, it develops and provides software-based services allowing drone operators and authorities to manage drone flights in a safe, efficient & secure way. Preparing the future for a safe and open sky, SkeyDrone also offers a suite of software- and hardware-based drone detection and protection services for owners of critical infrastructure.
For more information and contact details, visit: www.skeydrone.aero
DroneMatrix is a Belgian/European hi-tech company building and implementing the next generation of aerial robotic technology. It is part of RiskMatrix, a group of technology companies that focus on smart technologies, innovative software and drone solutions. Their automated intelligent drone solutions are the safest and most reliable on the market today. They are also flexible to implement in any kind of professional settings but with added expertise in the safety and security industry. DroneMatrix has developed, tested and implemented soft- and hardware solutions to accommodate various services for several security & safety and government instances, both locally and internationally.
More on www.dronematrix.eu