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Early 5G drones face slow upload speeds and frequent 4G handovers

As 5G networks become more widespread and more robust worldwide, flying drones will ultimately depend on the cellular infrastructure for both remote controls and live 4K / 8K video streaming from the sky. Early 5G drones and networks may not be ready for prime time, according to a group of Austrian researchers, because their inability to maintain consistent 5G connections limits their data transfer rates – a problem that is currently related to the exchange of live video from the Field affects. [19659002] Drones have spent much of the past decade evolving from military tools and consumer toys to viable commercial videography and delivery devices, largely limited by a company's budget and range of wireless connections. Several companies have already announced plans to use drones for package deliveries. Amazon controls Prime Air, a service that processes orders for buyers within 1

2 km of a warehouse within 30 minutes. However, neither Bluetooth nor wireless Wi-Fi communication work at greater distances than several hundred meters from or to the aircraft. Cellular networks would provide an ideal outdoor infrastructure, but the limited bandwidth and low latency of 4G made it less than ideal and created a great business opportunity for 5G drones.

It is positive to note that the researchers – supported by Magenta Telekom in Austria and Deutsche Deutsche – Telekom – were able to download 5G when testing a flying drone in a live Magenta Sub 6 GHz network -Rate rates above 700Mbps with averages around 600Mbps, which is almost a 10-fold improvement over 4G performance. The speeds were significantly lower during the first take-off, but still averaged almost 400 Mbit / s with 5G.

Unfortunately, due to numerous transfers between the 5G and the old 4G network and the corresponding 5G upload speeds, the team found a significant number of throughput fluctuations were no better than 4G, which excluded the transmission of the ultra-high-definition videos, some of which Can take up drones. Handoffs become more common on flights at 100 meters than on flights at 30 meters, at least during the first tests.

The results are not shocking in the sense that the data rates match our own 5G test results in the medium band. Download speeds in the range of 500 Mbit / s, but very slow upload speeds; This is due to the early use of “non-standalone” 5G networks by 5G networks, the infrastructure of which depends on 4G networks. Once networks are fully converted to 5G, they improve the consistency of download speeds, overall upload speeds and reduced 4G-5G handoffs, provided, of course, that the 5G tower infrastructures completely replace or expand existing 4G towers.

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Early 5G network performance may be sufficient to remotely control some drones, but it seems unwise to rely on it to broadcast stable, ultra-high definition air-to-land video live – at least in some 5G networks. Other 5G network operators such as Verizon and private 5G networks for corporate customers are being built using millimeter wave technology, which can achieve class 1 Gbit / s speeds at distances of around 1000 feet from cell towers. That's more than enough bandwidth for any 5G drone application, although millimeter wave buildouts are unlikely to soon reach national standards. Therefore, remote drones are more likely to use stand-alone, second-generation 5G networks on frequencies below 6 GHz, assuming that network operators and / or companies like Amazon are building the network infrastructure to support them.

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