Drone security technology developer DroneShield (ASX: DRO) has reeled in its largest customer to date in the form of BT Group – Britain’s largest telecommunications company.
DroneShield chief executive officer Oleg Vornik hailed the partnership as a “watershed moment” that would likely serve as a significant commercial boost for the company in both the short-term and medium-term.
The partnership with BT adds further momentum to the company’s “transformational” March and June quarters that have seen revenue figures in excess of A$1 million.
BT currently operates in over 180 countries with DroneShield now tasked with providing “counter-drone solutions” to a range of its customers across a number of industries and sectors.
Given the growing popularity of drones amongst enthusiasts and the growing ease with which they can be obtained on the high street and online (coupled with loose regulations regarding their use) means that anti-drone security is also peaking.
DroneShield said it has successfully developed “preeminent drone security solutions” that protect people, organisations and critical infrastructure from intrusion from drones.
The deal follows recent events at Gatwick, one of Europe’s busiest airports. During the Christmas period of 2018, the airport was brought to a standstill by rogue drones being operated by unknown parties caused severe disruption and expense for Britain’s security services.
The rogue actions meant hundreds of flights were delayed or cancelled, leaving hundreds of thousands of travellers stranded and causing tens of millions of dollars in economic damage.
In addition, the event caused public outcry for something to be done in order to prevent further disruption.
Since then, the UK government has been liaising with both the public and private sectors to introduce effective and cost-effective drone detection and mitigation solutions.
“For BT, this search has now culminated in a partnership with DroneShield, a global leader in anti-drone solutions,” said Mr Vornik.
“While DroneShield has previously co-operated with larger organisations in several countries, this is a very different arrangement, with a very different company,” he added.
Currently, BT’s principal activities include the provision of networked IT services including local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move.
BT also provides broadband, TV and internet products, as well as, converged fixed-mobile products and services.
In its most recent filing, BT said it had generated revenues of £23.4 billion (A$42 billion) with a gross profit of £2.6 billion (A$4.6 billion) in the past financial year.
Given BT’s sheer largesse and market footprint, Mr Vornik said the partnership represents “an important step-change” for DroneShield.
The partnership means that millions of BT’s customers in the UK and globally, including airports and other civil infrastructure, will be introducing anti-drone services UK-wide, using DroneShield’s products and technology.
The deal also opens up one of the world’s largest anti-drone markets that is ahead of other countries in adopting anti-drone technologies, the company said.
“This is the first time that a major global telecommunications provider will offer standalone drone mitigation services to its customer base,” Mr Vornik explained.
The deal also marks a significant point in the counter-drone industry’s development given that counter-drone services are now as mainstream and customer-adopted as other telecommunications services and can be purchased from a major telecommunications carrier.
This morning’s news boosted DroneShield shares up to $0.34 per share, up almost 10%.