Drones and mobile networks: Mobile networks are well suited to support low-altitude drone communication and to be integrated with drone traffic management systems to enhance the safety and security of drone operations. The licensed mobile spectrum serves as the foundation for mobile networks to provide wide-area, high-quality and secure connectivity that can enable cost-efficient drone operations beyond visual line-of-sight range. Current mobile networks are capable of serving drones in the low-altitude airspace. Specific performance enhancements can optimize LTE/5G connectivity toward more effective and efficient connectivity for connected drones while maintaining the performance of mobile devices on the ground.
Commercial drone applications are becoming increasingly common, with recent forecasts indicating this could be a $100 billion market opportunity over the coming years. Drones are already widely used for newsgathering (photography and videography, for example), and for inspection and mapping in industrial applications. They are also being tested in agricultural and logistics deployments.
Ericsson is an Executive Member of GSA