Don’t look now, but with the standalone (SA) version of 5G nearing its debut, 5G architecture with its fast downloads, near zero latency and massive interconnectivity of devices, is expected to anchor many new, advanced technologies.
It’s an impressive list that includes the likes of remote surgery, self-driving cars, smart cities, virtual reality, home broadband and hi-res audio – even drone connectivity.
Today, drones make up a vital military tool but are quickly finding themselves practical in other applications thanks to advances in 5G technology.
Drone adoption is growing fast among consumers and businesses. In the U.S. alone, the FAA expects almost 800,000 non-model aircraft to be registered in 2022, up from 277,000 at the end of 2018 — faster growth than initially anticipated.
For telecoms, drones offer telecoms a data-intensive application to catalyze subscriptions for their 5G networks. Telecoms can take advantage by selling 5G data plans for drones and even forging exclusive deals with drone makers to develop 5G-ready drones, giving customers another way to engage with their 5G networks.
A 5G network can boost the utility of drones in several ways, such as 5G’s low latency enables precise tracking of drone fleets. As more drones begin to fly, stricter monitoring is needed to ensure they don’t drift into restricted areas or crash, causing property damage or injuries.
5G’s low latency can minimize lag so operators can avoid collisions and better coordinate takeoffs and landings.
The technology of 5G can also enable drones to transmit high-definition footage in real time. 5G’s millisecond latency and data speeds up to 100 times faster than 4G allows drones to transmit high-quality footage to operators on the ground.
This enables drones to be used for functions like infrastructure safety inspections, where the drone operator must be able to see patches of rust or smalls cracks.
Modern drones, such as those being used in drone delivery systems, may be required to travel great distances, and operate in a network with potentially thousands of other drones.
On top of that, these 5G connected drones will most likely be reliant on AI algorithms to avoid objects, recognize other drones and identify landing zones. Assuming that such drones will be reliant on cloud computing to perform AI computational tasks, a reliable internet connection is needed.
Want to stay in the loop on 5G and keep up on current developments? Tonex offers 5G Wireless Crash Course, a 4-day course that covers all aspects of 5G wireless vision, concepts, application, use cases, technologies and standards.
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