T-Mobile (TMUS), America’s 5G leader, and Drone Racing League (DRL), the world’s largest professional drone racing league, have launched their first drone powered by 5G. The drone is the world’s first racing drone to integrate a 5G module capable of streaming live video directly to the Internet. Through T-Mobile’s 5G wireless network, which is America’s largest, fastest, most reliable, the drone will deliver high-definition, immersive First Person View (FPV) race footage to broadcasters as sports fans never have before.
According to Neville Ray, President of Technology at T-Mobile, “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. With the power of T-Mobile’s 5G network, we’re empowering innovators to completely reimagine virtually every industry and customer experience – from sports entertainment to disaster recovery, to parcel delivery and beyond.”
Using 5G technology, this new drone captures crisp, exciting video footage, redefining sports entertainment. Dual FPV and HD streaming cameras are mounted on the drone, and a LiPo battery setup allows it to fly for hours. A 2,400g thrust can be controlled through the drone’s controls, enabling it to fly over 60 mph while filming. It will be developed in the next phase of development to deliver flight commands to the drone over T-Mobile’s 5G network.
In the future, this drone will be equipped with 5G connectivity to elevate professional drone racing competitions. The DRL Pilots currently transmit data using analog radio transmissions in order to reduce latency, but this means their goggles are unable to provide crisp quality footage. As drone technology advances, T-Mobile’s 5G network will provide pilots with instant high-quality, crisp FPV footage due to its speed, capacity, and low latency, allowing better flight control. Additionally, the project will offer fans the chance to experience mesmerizing FPV clips on their mobile devices, allowing them to feel as if they were actually inside the drone.
“The Drone Racing League is a perfect case study for showcasing the benefits of T-Mobile 5G wireless technology with our high-speed racing drones. Our fans love innovation and discovering how new technology is developed, and we know our 5G-enabled drone will get them excited about new ways they will be able to experience the immersive thrill of professional drone racing,” said DRL President Rachel Jacobson.
A mini-documentary video about the development and testing of the 5G drone was released by T-Mobile and DRL. In the documentary, engineers of DRL demonstrate how they built a drone prototype and tested it for the first time using T-Mobile’s 5G network, before bringing the technology to life.