AT&T and Intel team up to test drone technology

A view shows the AT&T store sign in Broomfield, Colorado April 20, 2011. AT&T Inc survived the loss of its exclusive U.S. rights to sell the Apple Inc iPhone. REUTERS/Rick Wilking/Files

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Wireless provider AT&T Inc said on Monday it will partner with chipmaker Intel Corp to test the functionality of drones on its high-speed LTE wireless network.

AT&T will work with Intel to examine the efficiency of drones on its LTE network at higher altitudes and potential interference with airwaves related to areas such as video streaming and flight information, AT&T said in a statement.

Intel has been aggressively investing in drone technology in recent years. With the U.S. wireless market over-saturated, AT&T is betting on growth from the “Internet of Things”, or web-connected machines and gadgets from cars, home appliances to drones, a new battleground for the company and rivals ranging from Verizon Communications Inc to Inc.

“AT&T and Intel will be testing how the network can enable the most exciting business use cases for drones,” AT&T’s senior vice president, Internet of things solutions, Chris Penrose, said.

AT&T’s LTE network can help bring wireless connectivity to industries such as logistics, agriculture, construction and insurance, he said.

At Mobile World Congress in Barcelona this week, Intel has set up an “Intel Drone Zone” to demonstrate its drone technology over AT&T’s wireless network.

Reporting by Malathi Nayak; Editing by David Gregorio