Verizon selects drone control as one of its 5G service specialisms
Jan 3, 2020
From factories to retail spaces, city streets to our own homes, you don’t have to look far to see 5G’s boundless potential. However, to catch sight of one of the most exciting emerging use cases, you do have to look up.
The popularity of drones has exploded since 2016, when the FAA legalized them for commercial use. Today there are nearly 1.5 million federally registered drones in the U.S. and more than 158,000 licensed drone pilots. In a short time, the technology has proven itself indispensable to scientists, farmers, surveyors and utility workers, not to mention recreational flyers. But the future of drones—one involving full-scale integration to perform critical, high-level tasks—requires the next generation of wireless connectivity.
Harnessing the ultra-low latency and higher bandwidth of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, drones have the potential to engage in data collection, transmission and near-real-time analysis at a truly transformational level. When it comes to the future of drones and 5G, the sky’s the limit.
Drone technology powered by 5G
Drones go places people can’t, and drones with cameras can see things that otherwise may go unnoticed. They’re more nimble and cost-effective than helicopters and airplanes, and they can be easily integrated into existing workflows, advantages that Verizon enterprise customers are beginning to consider for fleet management, inventory monitoring, volumetrics and infrastructure inspection. The widespread adoption of 5G is now poised to open more doors to those benefits.
“Today only 10% of major enterprises have a drone program, and none of them are connected to a wireless network,” says Mariah Scott, president of Skyward, a Verizon company that specializes in helping organizations launch and run safe, efficient drone operations. “We knew early on that connectivity would be critical for drones to truly transform our world. And now 5G Ultra Wideband will usher in a new era in aviation, where we connect and integrate drones into the national airspace.”
To this end, Verizon is seeking to be the first carrier to connect one million drone flights to the 5G network, allowing drones to become a key part of how companies reimagine their business in a 5G world. In a related effort, Skyward recently unveiled advanced airspace intelligence for drone pilots, including essential ground intelligence and 3D views of more than one million vertical obstacles.
Together, Verizon and Skyward are helping to comprehensively map airspace and update drone flight regulations, in anticipation of a future in which low-altitude airspace will need to be managed to safely and efficiently accommodate diverse aircraft.
Drone technology: Ready for takeoff
Armed with this critical safety information, along with the high speed and low latency of Verizon 5G Ultra Wideband, drone utilization is expected to, pardon the pun, skyrocket. Pilots should be able to operate drones remotely, even from thousands of miles away, and actionable insights can be relayed in virtual real time.
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