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Telstra recently demonstrated the UAV technology it will use across Australia to help restore vital mobile services in disaster-hit communities during severe weather events.

Fitted with sophisticated cameras and flown up to heights of 120 metres by specialist pilots, these UAVs are used to monitor and inspect telecommunications towers, allowing affected services to be restored potentially days earlier.

The UAVs would be valuable for emergency services during disaster response as phone services, other than the emergency services radio network, are vital to give emergency warnings to the community through SMS text messages.

Using UAV technology, Telstra can get into a disaster site quicker and make the working environment safer. Previously, Telstra needed cherry pickers and time for rigging staff to traverse from base station to base station to conduct inspections. Now, ground based staff using easily portable drones can inspect mobile infrastructure much more quickly and thoroughly, even when access tracks to mobile sites are cut.

With more than 8,500 mobile network sites around Australia, delivering coverage spanning 2.4 million square kilometres, Telstra’s mobile network is the largest in the country. The UAV technology allows Telstra to quickly and efficiently monitor telecommunications towers and replace any damage as soon as possible.

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