Aerodyne-Celcom collaborate to develop 5G-based drone tech solutions for smart cities and agriculture

  • Celcom strategy to strengthen links with local digital entrepreneurs
  • Aerodyne to jointly explore, develop solutions using 5G technology

(L to R clockwise): Idham Nawawi, Celcom CEO, Azlan Zainal Abidin, Celcom Chief Enterprise Business Officer, Azita Azizan, Aerodyne Group ED and Kamarul A Muhamed, Aerodyne founder and CEO.

Aerodyne Group (Aerodyne), a Malaysia headquartered international DT3 (Drone Tech, Data Tech and Digital Transformation) solutions provider and Celcom Axiata Bhd (Celcom) and, sealed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to explore the development of IR4.0 solutions, with a focus in urban and agricultural sectors.

Leveraging on both parties’ strengths in telecommunications technology, including automation, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning and 5G technology, the proposed collaboration presents an opportunity to jointly develop and go to market with innovative solutions.

Aerodyne and its solution partners will also have the opportunity to be part of Celcom’s Centre of Digital Excellence (CODE) upcoming initiatives, with a focus on research and development in telecommunications technologies, and potentially co-develop use-cases that are essential to optimise identified industries.

The proposed development of innovative solutions will potentially pave the way for Celcom to expand its B2B solution offerings within its ecosystem. Furthermore, Aerodyne’s existing drone solutions will also be powered by Celcom and be progressively expanded into various Aerodyne solutions.

Idham Nawawi, chief executive officer of Celcom Axiata Bhd said Celcom in its pursuit to become an IR4.0 technology adoption enabler, highly welcomes collaborations with multiple partners, especially local technology companies and startups. Such collaboration is crucial to solidify the foundation in building a sustainable expertise within the local ecosystem and enabling multiple industries in Malaysia to fully embrace the industrial revolution.

 “The affiliation with local technology companies such as Aerodyne is a part of Celcom’s strategy towards stronger digital advocacy to aspiring local digital and technology entrepreneurs. This initiative is also a continuation to the support provided by Axiata Digital Fund (ADIF), through its March 2018 investment on Aerodyne previously. We hope to develop more similar collaborations to continuously inspire Malaysians technology entrepreneurs and startups into faster adoption of Internet of Things (IoT) and A.I solutions, and at the same time contribute to the building of an inclusive local digital ecosystem,” he added.

Aerodyne Group’s founder and group chief executive officer, Kamarul A Muhamed said, “We are excited about this strategic partnership with Celcom as our preferred connectivity provider to jointly explore and develop smart solutions using drones by leveraging on 5G technology. This will enable drones to transmit high definition footage in real-time. 5G's millisecond latency and data speeds of up to 100 times faster than 4G allows drones to transmit high-quality footage and data to operators on the ground.”

Drones are now established as viable tools for commercial and governmental applications in agriculture, aerial photography, inspection, mining, energy, construction, safety & security and logistics industry. In order to achieve the maximum potential of these applications, a reliable connection from the pilot to the drone is required which can be achieved through 5G.


Opportunities in smart cities and agriculture

Cities around the world are betting on innovation to increase their sustainability, improve the efficiency of urban services, and provide safer and healthier environments for their citizens. Smart city initiatives require collaboration between public sector organisations, private sector players such as transport, utilities, or services companies. PWC expects a steady increase of smart city development around the world with the total value of the global smart city market projected to exceed US$2.5 trillion by 2025.

The Covid-19 pandemic has put the spotlight on Malaysia’s immediate and long-term plan for food security. Smart agriculture could address the issue of rising pressure on the food supply system owing to the rapidly growing population, urbanisation, increasing use of modern technologies, the growing income levels and demand for protein-rich food sources, growing need for farmers on livestock monitoring and disease detection, and reduction of costs by adopting advanced livestock monitoring solutions.

In addition, the surging adoption of advanced technologies such as IoT and AI in aquaculture farms, livestock monitoring, and smart agriculture farms to improve farm yield is propelling the growth of the smart agriculture market.

According to research firm Markets and Market, the smart agriculture market is estimated to grow from US$13.8 billion in 2020 to US$22.0 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 9.8%.

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