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Russia's Yota to Deliver SIM Cards by Drone

Six light drones rented by Yota from the Copter Express company will deliver up to 700 SIM cards a day in four Moscow locations during a month-long experiment.

The Yota mobile operator plans to deliver SIM cards to its Moscow clients by drone, the RBC news agency reported on Wednesday, citing a senior official at Yota and the head of the company that will provide drones for the project.

Six light drones rented by Yota from the Copter Express company will deliver up to 700 SIM cards a day in four Moscow locations during a month-long experiment, said Vladimir Dobrynin, the operational director of the Skartel company, which owns the Yota brand.

The drones will deliver the cards within a 600-meter radius of the drones’ stations to be set up at the popular Muzeon and Sokolniki parks, at the VDNKh exhibition complex in northeastern Moscow and at the Strelka Institute in the city center.

According to Skartel estimates, a delivery of a SIM card by drone will cost about 400 rubles ($6) and will be cheaper than delivery by a courier. The service will be free for clients, the company said.

It was not immediately clear when the project will begin.

Last year, Copter Express teamed up with the Dodo Pizza company to deliver pizzas by mini-helicopter. More than 100 deliveries were made, but the experiment proved to be commercially unviable, general director of the Copter Express, Oleg Ponfilenok, told RBC.

He said that this time they have changed the technology in order to make the air delivery business viable.

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