The CEOs of DFS (Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, right) and Deutsche Telekom (Tim Höttges, second right) gave a remote control to the managing directors Jan-Eric Putze and Ralph Schepp of the newly founded joint venture as a symbol for handing over the business

Klaus-Dieter Scheurle (CEO DFS, left) and Tim Höttges (CEO Deutsche Telekom, right) show a drone and the „hook-on-device“ (a special modem and integrated SIM card) at the press conference

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung and Deutsche Telekom start joint venture for the drone market

Deutsche Telekom, the integrated telecommunications company, and DFS, the German air navigation service provider, announced the founding of their joint venture Droniq on Wednesday. Droniq provides a technical platform to track drones, enabling drone flights beyond the visual line of sight of the pilot in the future.

29.05.2019.- How can the safety of drone flights be ensured without the drones remaining within sight of the pilot? How can drone flights be made without causing conflicts with manned aircraft? DFS and Deutsche Telekom have found a solution to these questions. Together, they have developed a technology that uses the mobile communications network to track unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly known as drones. This puts in place one of the central preconditions to be able to safely operate drones across larger distances, and not just in close vicinity to the pilot. Delivering this precondition is a necessary step for the economic operation of unmanned aircraft systems. "Our technology finally makes it possible to fully exploit the potential offered by drones operated in a professional setting. With Droniq, we have combined the aviation expertise of DFS with Deutsche Telekom's competence in mobile communications," said Tim Höttges, Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Deutsche Telekom AG.

Aviation expertise and competence in mobile communications
The core of the product offering is a UAS Traffic Management System (UTM). This system processes the position data of drones and displays them together with the tracking data of manned aircraft. In this way, a complete air situation display is created. The UTM system also offers additional functions for the safe operation of drones in German airspace, including registration, mission planning and an automated process for obtaining any permissions required for a particular mission. "Droniq offers an entry into the commercial operation of unmanned aircraft systems, especially for drone flights beyond the visual line of sight. That is why we are introducing the first operational UTM system in Germany on the market to integrate drones safely and fairly into airspace," said Klaus-Dieter Scheurle, CEO of DFS.

First operational UTM system
The hardware needed at the moment is made up of a special modem with an integrated SIM card, the so-called hook-on device. After this device is hooked on, or mounted, on the drone, it can transmit the position of the drone and its identification to the UTM system using the mobile communications network. In addition to these basic data, the network can also be used to transfer other information, such as image and survey data in real time. Droniq's goal is to develop the product into a purely digital solution. This will require drone manufacturers to equip their drones with an LTE module as standard. Then users would only have to activate the SIM card to be able to use the UTM system.

Phased expansion planned
At first, Droniq will focus on the German market, the home market for DFS and Deutsche Telekom. Then a phased expansion across Europe is planned. Droniq's primary target market is commercial users in the infrastructure, surveying and agricultural sectors which intend on flying drones beyond the visual line of sight. Other potential users include the police, fire and rescue services as well as users from the general aviation environment. Training courses for drone operators and individual consultancy services are already part of Droniq's portfolio.

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Droniq GmbH is headquartered in Frankfurt am Main, Germany, and is a joint venture between DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH (DFS) and Deutsche Telekom AG. The object of the company is the provision, distribution and marketing of services for drones and other aircraft in Europe. DFS holds a stake of 51 percent through its subsidiary DFS International Business Services GmbH, while Deutsche Telekom holds a stake of 49 percent through Telekom Innovation Pool GmbH.

Media contact Droniq GmbH
Michaela Sankowsky
Phone: +49 (0)69 509547-400

DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH, the German air navigation service provider, is a State-owned company under private law with 5,400 employees as at 31 December 2018. DFS ensures the safe and punctual flow of air traffic over Germany. Around 2,000 air traffic controllers guide up to 10,000 flights in German airspace every day, more than three million movements every year. The company operates control centres in Langen, Bremen, Karlsruhe and Munich as well as control towers at the 16 international airports in Germany. Its subsidiary DFS Aviation Services offers products and services related to air traffic management worldwide and provides air navigation services at nine German regional airports as well as at London Gatwick Airport and Edinburgh Airport in the UK.

Media contact DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung GmbH
Nanda Geelvink Tel.: +49 (0)6103 707 4164

With around 178 million mobile customers, 28 million fixed network and 120 million broadband lines, Deutsche Telekom AG is one of the world's leading integrated telecommunications companies. It provides fixed-network/broadband, mobile communications, internet, and IPTV products and services for consumers, and information and communication technology (ICT) solutions for business and corporate customers. Deutsche Telekom is present in more than 50 countries. With a staff of some 216,000 employees throughout the world, it generated revenue of EUR 75.7 billion in the 2017 financial year, about 66 percent of it outside Germany (correct at 31 DEC 2018).

Media contact Deutsche Telekom AG
Corporate Communications
Philipp Kornstädt