- Charl Jooste
Verizon Acquires Skyward to Enhance and Improve Commercial and Enterprise Drone Operations
There have been some very interesting acquisitions in the tech industry over the past couple of years and they appear to get more exciting with every passing month. They do not always make sense at first, especially for outsiders and while some work brilliantly, others just never make much impact or even fail altogether.
The acquisition of Skyward, commercial drone operation specialists, by data and communication market leaders Verizon, looks like a perfect marriage that promises some exciting future developments.
Skyward have been around for four years and have made their mark as market leaders in providing safe, practical and efficient systems, software and expertise for all aspects of commercial drone operations. They are active in over 40 countries and assist such industries as mining, agriculture, telecommunications, construction, real estate, film production, insurance and many others with the management and control over their commercial drone projects and applications.
Skyward have developed an efficient and innovative drone management platform to assist these industries in all aspects of their drone operations including flight planning, restricted airspace avoidance and importantly, making the data connectivity and networks between all points in the system work in perfect harmony.
Wireless data and communication giant, Verizon have long seen the value in drone applications and it forms part of their rapidly expanding IoT Enterprise applications.
Their previous involvement in the drone arena includes their investment in drone aerial data analysis company PrecisionHawk in 2016 as well as an announcement late last year that they would be offering wireless data plans specifically for drones ranging from 1GB a month for $25 to a 10GB package at $80.
One of Verizon’s strategies is to develop cutting edge technologies to provide accessible in-flight wireless connectivity by means of Airborne LTE Operations (ALO). By having Skyward on their team, this will catapult this and many other exciting innovations.
The marriage of Verizon’s advanced network and Skyward’s expertise and experience in drone operations management will drive these solutions at a rapid pace while continuously developing new and creative applications and solutions for the commercial drone industry. Skyward have an established multinational footprint and have proved themselves as trusted and reliable experts in the field. I believe they will make a formidable partnership and existing as well as potential new clients have lots to look forward to.
As the commercial drone industry continues its meteoric growth, two things will be critically important, safety and communications. The combination of experience and expertise at both Verizon and Skyward will position them perfectly to create an ideal offering around these issues. Skyward have already developed and worked with FAA compliant platforms, something that is going to be very challenging for newer companies to offer effectively.
There is little doubt that there are huge opportunities in the commercial drone market as new technologies and techniques mature. The faster the industry grows, the more complex the planning, control and logistics of these operations will become. The synergy and strength of these two companies will give them a massive advantage, enabling them to grow and develop in leaps and bounds.
For now, it is business as usual for the existing users of Skywards users but there are very exciting times to look forward to. Watch this space.