Drones are all the rage right now and it is likely that the trend will continue. As such, AT&T and Intel have teamed up to test new drone technology on 4G, or LTE, mobile data networks. The success of this test could make it possible to operate drones—also known as unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs)—safely and effectively beyond our line of sight (currently, you can only operate them like a radio controlled plane or car, within your field of vision, at a very short distance).
Chris Penrose, senior vice president of AT&T IoT Solutions, explains, “We’re using the network to transfer important information, images and video quickly and efficiently—far beyond the boundaries of short-range connectivity.”
He goes on to say, “AT&T and Intel will be testing how the network can enable the most exciting business use cases for drones.”
Indeed, the hope is that this test will help to evaluate the performance of a mobile network at various altitudes and to assess video streaming capabilities and the transmission of telematics and flight information in real time.
Penrose continues, “Our LTE network is uniquely positioned to connect industries like delivery, agriculture, construction and insurance. We’re using the network to transfer important information, images and video quickly and efficiently — far beyond the boundaries of short range connectivity.”
Furthermore, Intel New Technology Group vice president Anil Nanduri comments, “Intel believes UAVs have great potential, from inspections [and] precision agriculture to deliveries of consumer goods and providing emergency disaster relief. We want to grow this market through our collaborations and by integrating new technologies and compute to UAVs.”
This is definitely the right time to begin this kind of testing. Not only are drones becoming more popular but AT&T has also just announced plans to start testing 5G technology, in a partnership with Intel and also Ericsson. This new connectivity will allo users to download a television show from the web in no more than three seconds. They also say that 5G technology will also dramatically reduce latency between the moments a user presses plan and streaming activity.