Ericsson and China Mobile conduct first ever drone flight with 5G
Drone flys using 5G connection
Ericsson and China Mobile announced the successful trial for the first ever 5G-enabled drone prototype.
The trial was held in Wuxi in China’s Jiangsu province, where a drone was flown using the operator’s cellular network with 5G-enabled technologies and handovers across multiple sites which were in use by commercial mobile phone users.
According to Ericsson, use cases for this technology include mission-critical applications such as support for emergency services. Company reps claim the technology could have saved more than 100 lives during the Tianjin explosion last August.
A necessary requirement
The company is quick to point out that end-to-end low latency needs to be guaranteed by the operator’s network to ensure the safety and reliability of such services.
Ericsson and China Mobile have been collaborating in the China National Key 5G Project since the beginning of 2016, focusing on user-centric 5G. Ericsson says the drone trial is an important step toward 5G networks in which part of a network can be distributed at the cellular edge in order to reduce end-to-end latency.
“China Mobile join hands with Ericsson on research and trials of 5G key technologies, leveraging China Mobile’s 5G joint innovation center as the platform,” said Huang Yuhong, Deputy Head of China Mobile Research Institute. “Both companies target to explore the 5G possibilities in vertical industries and new use case scenarios, and together drive towards 5G commercial capability in 2020.”
Ericsson and China Mobile showcased the 5G demo at MWC Shanghai 2016 in July.
“With commercial implementation expected from 2020, Ericsson’s 5G research is coming out of the labs and into live test networks,” said Chris Houghton, Head of Region Northeast Asia, Ericsson. “We see tremendous opportunities in 5G, and we are mobilizing the ecosystem and collaborating with industry leaders such as China Mobile to help make 5G a reality.”