Drone Charging Stations Deployment in Rural Areas for Better Wireless Coverage: Challenges and Solutions

Mustafa Abdelsalam Kishk, Mohamed-Slim Alouini

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


While fifth-generation (5G) cellular is meant to deliver gigabit peak data speeds, low latency, and connection to billions of devices, and 6G is already on the way, half of the world population living in rural areas are still facing challenges connecting to the internet. Compared to urban areas, users in rural areas are greatly impacted by low income, high cost of backhaul connectivity, limited resources, extreme weather, and natural geographical limitations. Therefore, how to connect the rural areas and the difficulties of providing connectivity draw great attention. This article first provides a brief discussion about existing technologies and strategies for enhancing the network coverage in rural areas, and their advantages, limitations, and cost. Next, we mainly focus on the UAV-assisted network in resource-limited regions. Considering the limitation of the onboard battery of UAVs and the electricity supply scarcity in some rural regions, we investigate the possibility and performance enhancement of the deployment of renewable energy (RE) charging stations. We outline three practical scenarios, and use simulation results to demonstrate that RE charging stations can be a possible solution to address the limited onboard battery of UAVs in rural areas, especially when they can harvest and store enough energy. Finally, future works and challenges are discussed.
Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)148-153
Number of pages6
JournalIEEE Internet of Things Magazine
Issue number1
StatePublished - May 11 2022

Bibliographical note

KAUST Repository Item: Exported on 2022-05-13


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