Vodafone has been meeting European airspace regulators, but it's not about spectrum and masts. It thinks that its network might be ideally placed to be used as the drone and UAV air traffic control method of the future.
According to the FT, Vodafone's proposal was made in response to the European Aviation Safety Agency's draft regulations on the operation of drones, which are asking tech providers to come up with ways that unmanned and remote amateur aircraft might be better monitored and controlled. Vodafone met with the EASA in the last month or so to flesh out its thoughts on possible options, with Yves Morier, EASA's director of unmanned business, saying Vodafone had some "interesting ideas" and that "It is highly ambitious but... it is clearly a technology that should be looked at."
The system might include the need for every drone above a certain power level to require a SIM card in order to fly, with the network's masts and mapping abilities used to both control no-fly areas and let drones communicate with each other to avoid collisions. [FT via IBT]