Drones can take care of infrastructure inspection, and monitoring, among other things.

Edge Computing, Private Networks and Autonomous Drones – How Modern Technology Can Secure Your Business?

In a joint demo event by DNA, AWS and Unmanned Life, we got to explore practical examples of the opportunities current technology offers both for boosting and securing business. How do edge computing, private networks and autonomous drones relate to each other?  

At this very moment, it’s likely that several autonomous drones circle over the port of Antwerp, monitoring the 120 square kilometre area. The drones take care of tasks such as infrastructure inspection, surveillance, tracking, managing hazardous situations, overseeing the docks, and detecting oil spills or drifts. The goal is to have a network of autonomous drones that can provide up-to-date snapshots of the different activities in the port.  

According to the Port of Antwerp, the use of drones will play an increasingly important role in the future – but what other uses can autonomous drones have? And what is the technology that enables all of this?  

Security and Efficiency from Drones and Private Networks  

Autonomous drones have been proven to be useful not only in port areas, but in other industries as well, such as logistics, construction, healthcare, and transportation. And in addition to drones, also various task-performing robots have demonstrated their worth.   

However, nether drones nor robots are able to perform on their own. They need functional connections and platforms through which they can be controlled.  

In terms of connections, private mobile networks are excellent for industrial use. They make it possible to build your own private network on top of the public 4G network. In the future, you can also use the 5G network, which ensures that no other load is straining the network. Private networks are particularly beneficial for factories, healthcare equipment and autonomous vehicles, which have high requirements for transfer speed and latency.  

"In a private network we can guarantee the capacity and availability the services require," explains Ville Kantola, who is responsible for DNA's private network services.  

DNA Private Network is suitable for environments that require high-quality connections and guaranteed capacity with low latency. Private networks can use edge computing, allowing data to be managed locally and used more quickly.  

Hybrid Edge Offers Low Latency and Local Data  

The hybrid edge combines the features of an edge network and a cloud network, offering users and applications a fast and flexible way to access computing and storage resources. Hybrid edge allows computing power to be moved closer to users and devices, reducing latency and improving performance, especially in intelligent IoT solutions. For such more demanding solutions, additional performance is available from DNA partners, such as AWS, which provides a world-class cloud computing platform.   

"With DNA's cloud-based architecture, necessary and important functions can be distributed and enhanced with edge computing, whether it's a regional or smaller private network," Kantola explains.  

Cloud-based architecture can help optimise resource utilisation and make operations less dependent on remote cloud servers. This can be useful, for example, in cases where there is a need to minimise the amount of data traffic or comply with certain data protection regulations.  

The Platform Behind Drones and Robots Management  

The Unmanned Life platform used for drone and robot management is designed to enable mass control of drones in complex environments, such as cities, industrial areas and logistics centres.  

Unmanned Life's distributed software-based system utilises artificial intelligence, machine learning and real-time information about drone movements, and it analyses the operating environment. This enables efficient optimisation of drone paths, obstacle detection and avoidance, and real-time decision making to improve operational efficiency. Single platform management makes drone operations safe, productive and cost-effective, and helps minimise risks.  

But what are the business benefits of edge computing, private networks and autonomous drones?  

"Leveraging new technologies is critical to business resilience and continuity today. Automation and secure networks are key in this. The best way to cope with change is to utilise partners with the best expertise," summarises Dominique Akl, Vice President of DNA’s network and cloud solutions.  


Would you like to hear more about the technology that enables the use of drones to support and secure your business? Contact us!