5G and Drones Era
Today, the laying of infrastructure is mainly the construction of large 5G towers, which are equipped with antennas, GPS, and long-range radios.
For 5G networks, these towers are essential because they support the transmission of data between the equipment and the wider network.
However, the coverage of the towers is limited, which means that to achieve wide-area coverage, 5G towers have to be built continuously. These towers are expensive and ugly. When will they be built? There must be other ways?
Two British companies (engineering company Cambridge Consulting and Telecom Group SPL) have already come up with a solution-install 5G antennas directly on hydrogen-powered drones, and then hover at an altitude of 20,000 meters above the ground to act as super high-speed WiFi.
Statistics show that in order to cover the network data needs of 99% of the population, there are nearly 1.5 million signal towers in the UK alone. In 2017, industry experts predicted that in order to support the future 5G network, the UK would have to build another 400,000 signal towers.
However, the above two companies stated that if they cooperate with existing telecom operators, they can use 60 drones to cover the entire UK, each drone covering an area of 140 kilometers in diameter, and the fuel is enough for drones to continue, flighting for 9 days.
In terms of download speed, it can reach 100Mbps, that is, a 4GB movie can be downloaded in 6 minutes.
Not long ago, the two companies had used aircraft with lower flying altitudes as test platforms for testing, but the signal bandwidth they sent out was lower.
The goal of the two companies is to integrate a three-square-meter antenna into a hydrogen fuel drone.
This idea is similar to Google’s Project Loon, which uses high-altitude solar-powered balloons to bring wireless broadband to remote areas.
SPL CEO Richard Deakin (Richard Deakin) said that the project is a more economical alternative to the construction of 5G towers. Each UAV can top 200 5G towers.
However, there are still many problems with this scheme. One is strict airspace control, even if UAVs fly at very high altitudes.
“It is very difficult to build a drone network in the stratosphere within three or four years,” IDC’s John Delaney explained.
Another problem is that when any form of 5G drone supervision is implemented, I am afraid that telecom operators have already completed the deployment of 5G network infrastructure in the fierce competition.
If you can’t keep up with the construction of signal towers, 5G drones will also have other breakthroughs.
Some people think that 5G drone technology is more suitable for providing network connections in very remote or hard-to-reach areas, such as waterways in the ocean, or providing network coverage for autonomous trucks driving in mining areas.