With an eye on IoT, Intel has already begun testing drones using AT&T’s existing LTE Networks. Meanwhile, Verizon is gearing up for 5G trials.
Intel announced it has teamed up with AT&T to test how drones behave on the latter’s high-speed LTE networks that so far is dedicated almost exclusively to smartphones and tablets. The above can be seen as preparatory groundwork in the wake of larger acceptance of Internet of Things in the coming years.
For the uninitiated, Internet of Things refers to interconnected smart equipment and gadgets that range from the domestic vacuum cleaner to even cars each having a chip embedded in them that will allow the smart devices to communicate among themselves.
With the wireless market in the US already saturated beyond comprehension, it is Internet of Things that is expected to make the next big market push, it is believed.
As for Intel, it has been making generous investments in drone technology which it hopes has high growth potentials in several sectors. These can be as diverse as agriculture, construction, logistics management, and so on.
AT&T is keen to find out if its existing LTE networks are well suited for drone flying or if they need to be tweaked further. Another parameter being tested is how local disturbance or distance could hamper drone operations on AT&T’s networks.
Intel specifically is showing off the Yuneec Typhoon H drone at the MWC. However, things still are in the nebulous stages right now as commercial drone operations will also require necessary clearances from the Federal Aviation Authorities as well as security departments besides faring well over AT&T’s established networks that right now is tuned to serve smartphone and tablet customers.
Meanwhile, in a related development, Verizon announced it has already started trials of 5G services in partnership with Samsung.
However, the above development is in light of there still being no concrete definition of 5G available at the moment. Verizon though is assuring its 5G services will comprise of internet speeds to the tune of several gigabits per second and ‘single-millisecond latency’.
In real world scenario, this is being touted to be around 100 times faster than existing 4G speeds. Taken another way, the download time of a full-length movie could be a matter of second over 5G networks.
Verizon is also setting up the 5G Open Trial Specification Alliance in its bid to have common standards in place so far as 5G is concerned. Verizon is employing its FiOS wired network while Samsung is using its 5G Hybrid Adaptive Array Antenna radio technology to test 5G services.
Verizon has stated last year it will commence 5G trials this year with AT&T too expected to join the race sometime soon.