AT&T Plans to Use LTE to Help Control Drones Over Long Distances

Illustration for article titled ATT Plans to Use LTE to Help Control Drones Over Long Distances

AT&T has announced that it’s going to work with Intel in order to use LTE networks to help fly drones way beyond line-of-sight. The partnership will investigate how land-based data networks can be used to stream video and beam back flight information.

The initiative will, AT&T claims, “help address many challenges the category faces, including safety and security concerns, real time communications, potential interference with manned aircraft and supporting future capabilities, as they are approved by the FAA.”

Currently, flying a drone out of line-of-sight is a risky business, which can easily end up with less flying and more crashing. Using an LTE data connection would certainly help, maintaining a high-quality video stream over huge distances. It’s likely, though, that the feature may be more attractive for commercial applications—such as farming or delivery.



Image by Alexander Kolomietz/Shutterstock

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So people using cell phones will be able to travel under the AT&T umbrella as well? There will have to be some kind of user fee while ‘drones’ are flying along on AT&T signals. AT&T is not noted for developing things on a not-for-profit basis. Too bad having a huge number of unhappy customers wasn’t enough to get AT&T working on this a few years ago.