The answer is no; at least not in the next five to ten years. A new network would be very expensive, says Aymen Fakhreddine, a senior researcher at the University of Klagenfurt . Currently, it makes more sense to prepare drones for integration into a 5G network. The researchers had previously investigated the use of drones in the LTE advanced network. Partners in the project are Lakeside Labs and Magenta (formerly T-Mobile). The mobile telephony operator supported the researchers by providing infrastructure and data from the mobile network. The research found that the transmission rates from base station to drone are adequate for numerous applications. Nonetheless, it will be necessary to improve the performance in order to broaden the set of functionalities – which is already in sight with 5G.
The commercial drone market is also starting to move in other areas. For instance, Deutsche Telekom and German air navigation service provider DFS Deutsche Flugsicherung have founded the joint venture Droniq , which aims to enable the tracking of drones via the mobile network, so that they can also be used safely over long distances.