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.
“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.