Is there a role for mobile networks in the unmanned aerial vehicle ecosystem? Verizon Ventures believes there is a clear role.
“Wide area wireless technologies, like LTE, have made it possible for drones to transmit vast amounts of data at farther ranges and faster speeds,” says David Famolari, Verizon Ventures director.
A typical UAV flight in a commercial application can generate more than 500 MB of raw visual and sensor data, often from entirely unique perspectives that would have been otherwise unobtainable, Famolari says. “UAVs range too far to rely on Wi-Fi, and transmit too much data to use 3G networks, but LTE solves both the range and capacity challenges, said Famolari.
LTE networks also can be used for UAV command-and-control as well.
Flight coordinates could be delivered over the network to dynamically update flight plans, reroute missions, and clear airspace when necessary, Famolari argues.
LTE connectivity gives UAV operators real-time visibility beyond the line of sight, allowing them to better manage their fleets, track aircraft, and run more efficient operations.