Piloting 5G for Drones

urban mobility

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Next generation mobile technology has the potential to expand and extend the capabilities of drones to enable incredible new applications. A drone flight connected to a 5G network will soon be tested in Singapore. Singapore telco M1 and Airbus will be teaming up to perform coastal tests of UAV flight connected to M1’s standalone 5G network. M1 will be trialling a specially-built aeronautical 5G modem, designed for drone flight in urban settings.

Conducted on the Singapore telco’s 5G standalone network, the trials will assess whether unmanned aerial vehicles can operate safely and efficiently in real-world environments.

5G will allow for faster and more accurate communication for the UAVs, and will soon be seen as a core technology for UAV flight. However, as an industry UAV flight on a commercial scale is still in its infancy, with many regulations and tests needed before it can be rolled out on a national scale, M1 claims.

The collaboration will establish key cellular 5G performance metrics and requirements to enable unmanned aircraft systems to safely integrate and fly in national airspace systems. 

According to totaltele.com, this is not the first time that M1 has been exploring the potential of drone technology. Indeed, back in 2017 the operator was performing trials using its 4.5G mobile network.Drones can be used to perform search and rescue operation at remote or inaccessible sites, aerial infrastructure surveillance, delivery of parcels quickly and efficiently, etc. 5G technology could unlock many of these capabilities for drone flight, many of which are already becoming more frequent in the modern world.

Apart from the coastal trials, M1 and Airbus planned to conduct connectivity trials for in-land areas, which would enable both companies to tap growing interest in unmanned aircraft systems from other industries, according to zdnet.com.