Vodafone takes on Santa with the UK's first 4G drone delivery – TalkAndroid

5G might be grabbing all the headlines recently but 4G, or LTE if you prefer,  hasn’t suddenly become obsolete overnight, with carriers still pushing the limits in terms of functions and usage. The Vodafone network has just performed the UK’s first drone delivery using a 4G signal from a portable router to control the delivery vehicle.

The festive-themed drone was used to deliver mince pies, chocolate, and gingerbread men to the Portland Bill Coastwatch, which sits on the most southerly point of the UK and is manned by 75 volunteers known as the Watch Keepers.

Scott Petty, Chief Technology Officer, Vodafone UK said: “Technology plays an increasingly important role in connecting people over Christmas. Flying a drone over 4G for the first time gives us a glimpse of what Christmas deliveries of the future might look like. We have been working hard to build a network that now covers 99% of the UK population, and I’m really pleased we’ve been able to use it to support our rural communities this festive season.”

The drone was flown using Vodafone’s 4G signal, which enabled it to be controlled despite being out of the line of sight of the operator. While this is the first instance of a drone being controlled via a mobile signal in the UK, it’s believed that the advent of 5G technology in the coming year will open up new opportunities for using drones in populated areas. Perhaps we can expect to see our pizzas and parcels being delivered to us by drones controlled via a 5G signal sooner rather than later.

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He’s been an Android fan ever since owning an HTC Hero, with the Dell Streak being his first phablet. He currently carries a Pixel 2 XL, Huawei P20 Pro, and a Huawei MediaPad M5 (8.4) in his pockets and thinks nothing of lugging a 17-inch laptop around in his backpack. When not immersed in the world of Android and gadgets, he’s an avid sports fan, and like all South Africans, he loves a good Braai (BBQ).


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