OnQ Blog

Drones + 5G: The sky's the limit

Nov 14, 2016

Qualcomm products mentioned within this post are offered by Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. and/or its subsidiaries.

Wait until you see what you’ll be able to do with 5G. The ultra-fast, ultra-reliable network will handle your 4K VR livestreams, turn wearables into medical devices, and even help your car “see through” obstacles to avoid potential accidents. The sky's the limit.

Speaking of which, that’s another benefit of a high-speed, low-latency 5G network: We can trust it to keep vehicles from crashing into each other, and to keep flying machines in the air. Like drones. 

5G connectivity will enable a worldwide boom in drone use, for fun, research, and business. Scroll down to see a few near-future scenarios. 

Internet by drones

Drones will help spread the internet to areas that lack reliable connectivity. That tech is being tested today and connectivity through 5G will make it reliable. Multiple drones will be able to fly autonomously within close proximity to ensure there are no gaps in signal distribution to the ground, and self-monitoring technology will keep the fleet of transmitting drones working properly.

Disaster recovery

Governments and disaster-relief organizations will use 5G-connected drones to aid in emergency efforts. Drones in the sky will communicate and share real-time data with each other and teams on the ground, increasing the speed and effectiveness of search-and-rescue missions: Relief managers can safely dispatch rescue teams, quickly estimate structural damage and debris levels, and better distribute resources.  

Special delivery

When 5G gets to your neighborhood, you might be getting your packages – or even pizzas – delivered by drones. The network will enable a multitude of autonomous drones to navigate your local skies safely, and even send notifications to your devices announcing their arrival.

Drone racing

With support for low-latency data transmission and connectivity between multiple devices, 5G will continue the evolution of drones as a playground for inventors and hobbyists. Cameras attached to drones could become the new way people watch sports or shoot movies, and 5G’s expanded bandwidth will support uninterrupted transmission of live 4K or 360-degree video.


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