T-Mobile US sets sights on 5G drones - Mobile World Live

T-Mobile US sets sights on 5G drones

05 JUN 2023

T-Mobile US claimed credit for enabling a near 80-mile beyond-visual-line-of-sight flight by a drone tapping the capabilities of 5G, citing potential for inspection programmes, agriculture and disaster relief.

The operator teamed with manufacturing company Valmont Industries to trial the drone over a distance of 77 miles. T-Mobile stated this was an industry first, with 5G capabilities enabling the craft to record high-resolution video and conduct near real-time analysis.

T-Mobile argued existing inspection methods “typically require extensive manpower, manned aircraft operations or ground-based inspections”.

It tipped a turnaround given the “Federal Aviation Administration is granting more waivers” to drone operators including Valmont Industries.

The Harris Aerial-supplied drone’s flight time stood at less than three hours, during which it was used to inspect “vital infrastructure”.

Visual inspections were handled by a Sony camera connected to T-Mobile’s 5G network, with the operator stating all work happened three-times faster and with less fuel consumption than using today’s methods.

Jake Lahmann, UAS manager at Valmont Industries, noted range has been a limiting factor in drone inspection services, meaning the distance covered in the trial “is really going to revolutionise the way the industry approaches” future checks.



Michael Carroll

Michael doesn’t want to admit that he has been a journalist and editor for close to 20 years covering a diverse set of subjects including shipping and shipbuilding, fixed and mobile telecoms, and motorcycling...More

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