One of the biggest obstacles to the popularization of 5G networks is the need to add 5G base stations to increase the coverage, but the cost and time are considerable. A British startup company intends to use hydrogen-powered drones to provide 5G networks in the air to accelerate the progress of popularization.
Cambridge Consultants, a startup in Cambridge, UK, and Stratospheric Platform have previously developed a hydrogen-powered 5G drone that can fly automatically while using a giant 5G antenna. It provides a 5G network in the air. Each drone is said to cover a range of 140 kilometers in diameter- in hundreds of ground base stations. They pointed out that as long as 60 drones are used, it can cover the entire UK, and the peak network speed exceeds 100Gbps, which means that it can replace 400,000 5G base stations.
However, although the technology is feasible, experts believe that one of the key points of the 5G network is that the network is stable and reliable, while reducing latency. This requires connecting several base stations at the same time, and the base station itself performs edge computing to improve performance. It is difficult for the base station flying in the air to solve these problems, and can only solve the coverage purely. However, Cambridge Consultants said that it hopes to test drones in 2025. In addition to helping the network range by then, the directional antennas on the drones can also bring greater network range to specific scenarios, and more diverse applications.