Mobile Devices

Video: T-Mobile launches first 5G-enabled drone

11 August 2021

T-Mobile has launched its first 5G-enabled drone in collaboration with the Drone Racing League (DRL), one of the first machines to have an embedded 5G module capable of live streaming video directly to the internet.

The drone is designed to bring a new level of entertainment to drone racing by giving a high-definition, first person view (FPV) race footage to broadcasters via T-Mobile’s 5G wireless network.

The first public flight of the 5G drone will take place at Major League Baseball’s Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. The drone will give a behind-the-scenes look at the ballpark and movie site in FPV. The drone will fly across the cornfields to the movie set to see the house and original ballfield from the famous movie.

"Drones are one of the most compelling use cases for 5G and we're working towards a future where all drones will eventually be 5G-connected — that's why we've teamed up with DRL, to fuel this innovation," said Neville Ray, president of technology at T-Mobile.

During DRL’s 2021-22 season, the 5G magenta drone will fly at DRL and T-Mobile events to capture content including previews of 3D racetracks for fans tuning into the racing league.

Magenta drone

The 5G-enabled drone includes dual FPV and HD streaming camera systems, a 5s lithium-ion battery setup for extended flight time and more than 2,400 grams of thrust while flying more than 60 mph.

The next steps will test how the 5G module can connect the drone’s command and control functions to enable flight over T-Mobile’s 5G network.

This will enable the drone pilots to instantly see high-quality FPV footage to enhance the flying abilities of pilots. Currently, pilots fly via analog radio transmissions for lower latency, sacrificing clean footage in viewing goggles.

To contact the author of this article, email PBrown@globalspec.com


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