Drone Delivery Leveraging on 5G Communication

Drone Delivery Leveraging on 5G Communication

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Current mobile networks are capable of serving drones in the low-altitude airspace. The fifth-generation mobile network 5G can provide more effective and efficient connectivity for drones while maintaining the performance of mobile devices on the ground. There are three major needs for connecting drones by means of 5G cellular data: UAV traffic management (UTM), beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) flights, and sensor data transmission.

The power of 5G communications can now be harnessed for the management of multiple drones, flying simultaneously, dispatched from a centralized location, operating in a secure and safe environment. The low latency of 5G and edge compute is ideal for monitoring air traffic in and out of a busy logistics hub, especially those using mixed fleets of autonomous vehicles like drones, trucks, and planes.

During the COVID-19 pandemic, drone delivery emerged as much more than rapid delivery of essential healthcare items — it provided high-risk seniors a rapid and contactless delivery option to remain healthy at home. Drone delivery for this population is becoming more and more essential. 

Skyward, A Verizon company, and drone delivery company UPS Flight Forward will collaborate in the delivery of retail products with drones connected to Verizon 4G LTE, as well as 5G testing and integration for delivery. The companies aim to deliver retail products via connected drones in an adult retirement community in Florida.

In 2020, the companies started testing 4G LTE in delivery drones to demonstrate cellular reliability and performance at altitude.

Skyward announced that this year, it will be taking the collaboration with UPS further by testing 5G Ultra Wideband integrations to connect the sky.

UPS has operated more than 3,800 successful drone delivery flights since the creation of UPS Flight Forward, its drone delivery company, certified by the Federal Aviation Administration in 2019.