This article discusses a flexible method of assessing 5G networks in connection to aerial mobility and for the benefits of mobile network operators. Two scenarios are considered. The first one features a commercial-grade 5G test network. Here, agile antenna pattern measurements are performed over known configurations with a smartphone attached to an unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) having different flying speeds. The second scenario presents agile measurements for all mobile network operators in Finland to quickly estimate 5G network availability with respect to a particular area and altitude. The results collected in Scenario 1 indicate that aerial measurements are a prompt method to estimate 5G network antenna patterns, which is important for the operators to validate their new 5G antenna equipment. The results of Scenario 2 show how the existing operator-owned 5G networks perform, which is essential to evaluate the suitability of different services related to aerial mobility. Therefore, agile aerial network measurements are beneficial for the operators to assess the maintenance and optimization needs across their 5G deployments and thus complement traditional drive tests, and as the means to ensure that the deployments are UAV-ready.
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