August 18, 2016 — The world’s first 5G-enabled drone prototype field trial has been field trialed by Ericsson and China Mobile. The drone was flown using operator’s cellular network with 5G-enabled technologies and with handovers across multiple sites.
The potential use cases for this technology include mission-critical applications such as support for emergency services. However, 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 network architecture evolution.
“One of the project’s aims is to optimize latency for mission-critical use cases, by dynamically deploying part of a network through distributed cloud close to the radio edge,” said Huang Yuhong, deputy head, China Mobile Research Institute. “The drone trial is therefore an important step toward 5G networks in which part of a network can be distributed and dynamically deployed at the cellular edge in order to reduce end-to-end latency, and to serve a range of 5G use cases at the same time.”