Optus and Ericsson complete Australias first 5G drone flight

Optus and Ericsson have delivered Australias 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.

Illustrating the future 5G edge cloud capability, the flight 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.

Its 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, added Mr Wong.

For Optus its 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.

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. 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, says Martin Wiktorin, Head of Ericsson Singapore, Brunei and Philippines and Global Customer Unit Singtel.

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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