Verizon Acquires Skyward to Provide Simplified Drone Operations

By Mike Ball / 21 Feb 2017

Skyward drones
Verizon has announced that it has purchased Skyward, thus adding drone operations management to the Verizon Internet of Things (IoT) portfolio, simplifying drone operations and management for organizations of any size.

Internationally, companies rely on Skyward for managing operations, improving safety and lowering operating costs. Through this acquisition, businesses small and large will now have a single source for integrating, managing and wirelessly connecting their drone operations – linking all the people, projects and equipment involved into one clear and efficient workflow.

Mike Lanman, senior vice president – Enterprise Products and IoT at Verizon, said: “Last quarter we announced our strategy to drive innovation and widespread adoption for in-flight wireless connectivity through our Airborne LTE Operations (ALO) initiative, a new service to simplify certification and connectivity of wireless drones. This acquisition is a natural progression of our core focus on operating in innovative, high-growth markets, leveraging our network, scale, fleet management, device management, data analytics and security enablement capabilities and services to simplify the drone industry and help support the adoption of IoT.”

Skyward founder and CEO Jonathan Evans said: “Drones are becoming an essential tool for improving business processes at large companies, but scalability has been a challenge. Skyward’s drone operations management platform combined with Verizon’s network, reliability, scale and expertise in delivering enterprise solutions will allow organizations to efficiently and safely scale drones across multiple divisions and hundreds of use cases.”

Thanks to advances in technology and regulations, organizations are looking at drones to help run their business. From agriculture to telecommunications, and industrial construction to film production, major corporations, small businesses, and individuals are using drones to save time, improve safety, and operate more efficiently.

With Skyward’s technology, Verizon will streamline the management of drone operations through one platform designed to handle end-to-end activities such as mission planning, complex workflow, FAA compliance support, supplying information about restricted airspace and pilot credentialing, drone registration and provisioning rate plans for drones on Verizon’s network. All of this is designed to help developers and businesses create and manage a wide-range of services backed by Verizon’s mobile private network, secure cloud interconnect and data analytics capabilities.

Verizon Ventures, the company’s venture capital division, brought Skyward in as a portfolio company, making Verizon the first wireless service provider to become a member of the Small UAV Coalition (SUAVC).

Posted by Mike Ball Mike Ball is our resident technical editor here at Unmanned Systems Technology. Combining his passion for teaching, advanced engineering and all things unmanned, Mike keeps a watchful eye over everything related to the unmanned technical sector. With over 10 years’ experience in the unmanned field and a degree in engineering, Mike’s been heading up our technical team here for the last 8 years. Connect & Contact