Verizon data plans for drones could pave path for off-site remote control

Does this mean that Pocketnow gets to cover drones? Maybe.

Current aviation regulations in the US require pilots to remain within eyesight of the machine and in airspace below 400 feet during typical operation of a drone. But that doesn’t mean that the rules won’t eventually change, especially as the “techno-logistical” wars in developed society — ahem, Amazon — aim to bring down costs of delivering the last mile.

Verizon Wireless may be getting way ahead of itself, though, as it has revealed to the Wall Street Journal that it is in discussion with manufacturers to provide plans for cellular-enabled drones. There would be two monthly plans: $25 for 1GB and $80 for 10GB.

Replacing the limited range of Wi-Fi with blanket 3G, 4G or even 5G coverage would not only allow off-site piloting to happen, but can ease up traffic if, perhaps, drone usage is allocated specific spectrum away from general traffic.

Verizon’s so-called Airbone LTE Operations also include the carrier itself flying drones to patch up its network in emergency or high-demand situations. That’s in addition to deploying portable cell towers — towers that remain stationery while in operation.

What we need now is for drones to be able to grow and for technology to catch up — that means bigger payloads and longer flight times. Unfortunately, those are also factors that will have to change as the FAA sees fit.

Source: Wall Street Journal

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About The Author
Jules Wang
Jules Wang is News Editor for Pocketnow and one of the hosts of the Pocketnow Weekly Podcast. He came onto the team in 2014 as an intern editing and producing videos and the podcast while he was studying journalism at Emerson College. He graduated the year after and entered into his current position at Pocketnow, full-time.