Verizon wants to be the first carrier to use the new fifth-generation network to connect 1 million drones for flight. Verizon has been targeting drones since 2016 when they first announced their plans to sell wireless data plans for the new technology. Months later, Verizon acquired the drone operation company Skyward and saw this technology as a potentially lucrative revenue stream for their 5G network. This comes just as Verizon’s 5G network reached 31 markets since its launch in April 2019.
Drones can be used to complete many tasks and be very useful on Verizon’s 5G network in a few ways:
- The new fifth-generation network will allow drones to transfer high definition video in real-time. With 5G’s millisecond latency and fast data speeds, drones will be able to send high-quality images and videos to operators on the ground with no lag. These high-quality images and videos will make drones great for building safety inspections as they can see rust and small cracks humans may miss.
- Drones with 5G capability can use Artificial Intelligence (AI) to complete complex tasks. Due to the drones’ ability to quickly transmit data faster and better, any 5G connected drone can outperform a drone built on the 4G network. Due to the advanced AI technology a 5G capable drone has, they will be able to simplify human tasks like organizing warehouse items. For example, a drone with computer vision can quickly sort and see patterns freeing humans up to tackle more complex tasks.
- Tracking a fleet of drones will be easier due to 5G’s low latency. As drones become increasingly popular, more rules and regulations will be in place to ensure drones aren’t flying in restricted areas. This means you will need to be strict in monitoring where your drone is flying, and low latency decreases the lag you would usually get on the 4G network. Drone operators will be able to avoid collisions and damage to property and have smoother takeoffs and landings.
Drones present carriers with an opportunity to increase subscriptions to their 5G network, which will in turn increase traffic. Drones are not only popular among businesses but also with everyday consumers. Consumers use drones for various hobbies, like shooting music videos, promotional videos, and movies. Because drone technology is becoming more advanced and drones can be bought online, there will only be an increase in drones being registered with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). In the US, the FAA predicts around 800,00 drones to be registered in 2022. That number is up from the 277,000 they saw in 2018.
Carriers will be able to take advantage of the increase in numbers by offering data plans for drone operators and by creating a partnership with 5G drone developers. This partnership could mean that Verizon would enter into the industry of drone manufacturing, which means they would be able to make up for stagnant smartphone sales. This could give many carriers another way to get users to connect to their network without buying a smartphone.
Article Sourced: Business Insider