Tuesday, 12 November 2019 23:57

Optus, Ericsson complete first 5G teleoperated drone flight Featured

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Optus and Ericsson have delivered Australia’s first 5G teleoperated drone controlled over a live 5G network.

The flight was completed at Optus’ Macquarie Park campus with the drone simultaneously transmitting HD video, through a 5G handset, over the live Optus 5G network as part of a 5G future-use showcase.

Announcing the flight on Tuesday, Optus said it illustrated the future 5G edge cloud capability, and also demonstrated how the drone can intelligently identify and track objects using the processors in the cloud via a 5G connection, which will play a “critical role in enabling drones to fly beyond the visual line of sight”.

“It’s incredibly exciting to be testing this future drone technology on our live 5G network. We already have customers using and benefiting from our 5G network now and showcase provides a glimpse into the future possibilities that 5G will enable,” said Dennis Wong, Optus managing director Networks.

“As we build out our network and it reaches maturity in around 18-24 months’ time we will start to see these use cases put into action thanks to the ultra-high reliability and low latency provided by 5G which is critical in supporting these technologies,” Wong said.

“For Optus it’s about making sure we deliver our customers the benefit of 5G today while also looking beyond connectivity to ensure our 5G network build supports the technologies and innovations of tomorrow.”

According to Optus, in the future 5G technology has the potential to use drones to provide video surveillance, real-time streaming and real-time intelligence to a remotely located operator from locations where line of sight is not possible, such as in dangerous, remote or inaccessible areas.

“We are pleased to support Optus in this latest 5G technology showcase. 5G represents a key mobile technology evolution, opening up a variety of possibilities and applications,” said Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and Philippines and Global Customer Unit Singtel.

“The success of this first 5G drone flight in Australia over a 5G live network will help create additional revenue streams for enterprises as well as new ways for operators to better protect resources over a vast country like Australia.”

Optus currently has more than 290 5G sites that utilise both Ericsson and Nokia equipment and provides 5G services to its customers both in the home with Optus 5G Home and on the go with its 5G mobile handset offering.

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Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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