How AT&T plans to kill bad drones and bring blockchain to more businesses

AT&T is using IoT sensors to detect malicious drones, as well as unveiling a suite of blockchain solutions.

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In order to protect businesses from malicious drones, AT&T is launching a drone detection solution, said a Wednesday press release. Additionally, AT&T is bringing a separate suite of blockchain solutions to the enterprise, according to AT&T CEO Thaddeus Arroyo at the 2018 AT&T Business Summit in Dallas on Wednesday. Both technologies aim to help businesses operate safer and quicker.

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In partnership with Dedrone, a drone detection tech startup, AT&T has found a solution that helps protect military bases, venues, cities, and businesses from malicious drones, according to the release. And with drones becoming increasingly popular worldwide, there is warranted cause for concern that the technology could get into the wrong hands.

Dedrone and AT&T are using Internet of Things (IoT) sensors and LTE connectivity to detect and protect against malicious drones, said the release. The sensors are able to identify approaching drones using radio frequency, visual, radar, and other sensors, which then classify the drone and alert security if need be, added the release

Drone detection can help public officials determine safety risks quicker and mitigate a potential threat more efficiently, which is especially important for big businesses housing sensitive information or who may be hosted government officials.

"Malicious drones pose an aerial threat for the community, for businesses and for the people that live and work there," said Michael Zeto, vice president and general manager of AT&T smart cities, in the release. "With Dedrone, we're helping to protect customers and citizens from this type of risk."

Additionally, AT&T is releasing a suite of blockchain solutions compatible with IBM and Microsoft technologies, announced Arroyo at the AT&T Business Summit event on Wednesday. These solutions will help consumers manage information across multiple parties, he said.

The customizable suite combines edge-to-edge capabilities with blockchain technology, in an effort to automate processes while reducing costs, Arroyo added.

The blockchain solutions are designed to be used across vertical industries, Arroyo said. AT&T's tech can help track the origin and movement of goods through manufacturing factories, track retail orders, and help maintain directories of patient healthcare records.

"Blockchain is far more than just Bitcoin or cryptocurrency. It's transforming the way many companies conduct business," said Andy Daudelin, vice president of AT&T alliances business development, in a Wednesday press release.

The big takeaways for tech leaders:

  • AT&T and Dedrone are using IoT sensors to detect and protect businesses against malicious drones.
  • AT&T's new suite of blockchain solutions is compatible with both IBM blockchain and Microsoft Azure blockchain technology and is designed to be used across vertical industries.

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