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5G unlocks potential of drone industry in China

(People's Daily Online)    10:26, August 18, 2019

China is a major manufacturer of drones, and its advantages in 5G technology have unlocked the potential of the drone industry.

This June, China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology granted 5G licenses for commercial use to China Telecom, China Mobile, China Unicom and the China Broadcasting Network, marking the beginning of a new era in the country’s telecommunications industry.

Before that, China Unicom completed a low-altitude, beyond-line-of-sight and high-speed flight test for 5G industrial drones for commercial use on Chongming Island, east China’s Shanghai.

It marked the first time that a 5G industrial drone was officially used for commercial purposes, said Zhou Xiaolong, a senior expert with the China Unicom Research Institute.

The introduction of drones with 5G capabilities, featuring high bandwidth and low latency, will allow for real-time operation of drones and transfer of 4K and 8K high-definition videos, Zhou said, adding that 5G also supports VR/AR technologies, offering users an immersive experience.

During the 2019 Beijing International Horticultural Exhibition, for example, visitors could wear VR glasses to see a bird’s-eye view of the park provided by drones from the China Telecom 5G exhibition pavilion.

The combination of 5G and drones also helps the police force. This March, Tangtou police station in Shenzhen, south China’s Guangdong Province, cooperated with China Telecom to launch the country's first 5G drone demonstration project for the police service.

With smarter 5G equipment installed on police motorcycles and police drones, police officers wearing more advanced AR glasses can conduct comprehensive patrols.

China has been exploring new capabilities and improvements in 5G drone application. The addition of 5G will pave the way for faster integration of drone systems into many other industries.

(For the latest China news, Please follow People's Daily on Twitter and Facebook)(Web editor: Bianji, Hongyu)

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