5G: Using drones to beam signals from the stratosphere

Plans to beam 5G signals to the public via drones that stay airborne for nine days at a time have been announced by two UK firms.

They want to use antenna-equipped aircraft powered by hydrogen to deliver high-speed connectivity to wide areas.

Stratospheric Platforms and Cambridge Consultants say they could cover the whole of the UK with about 60 drones.

But telecoms analysts question whether the economic case for this scheme is quite as simple as it sounds.

Safety rules

Cambridge Consultants designed the antenna for the Stratospheric Platforms aircraft, which is designed to fly at an altitude of 20,000m (65,617ft).

They say they have successfully tested beaming a lower-bandwidth signal from a plane flying at a lower height.

But so far, the drone required is still on the drawing board and would need to be tested with a emission-free hydrogen fuel cell and 5G antenna on board.

Google, with its Project Loon, is running a similar project to bring wireless broadband to remote places using solar-powered high-altitude balloons.

But the chief executive of Stratospheric Platforms says using hydrogen fuel cells is a superior solution.

"This is a very high-density energy source, which enables us to produce a huge amount of power for long periods of time," explains Richard Deakin.

He adds that each drone would cover an area of 140km (87 miles) in diameter below.

And users would get download speeds of about 100Mbps - allowing them to download a typical four-gigabyte movie in under six minutes.

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โดย: chanchai [4 พ.ย. 63 10:10] ( IP A: X: )
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