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We’ve finally started getting the first 5G devices out in the market this past month. Unfortunately, no one’s offering 5G connections yet, seeing as we’re still occupied by 4G.

But one group is looking to offer 5G Internet without needing pesky infrastructure.

Internet drone

The drone is modelled after AeroVironment’s Helios drone previously built for NASA – Images courtesy: NASA

Japan-based tech giant SoftBank and American aerospace company AeroVironment had previously entered into a hush-hush partnership on a mysterious project. They’ve now released the fruit of their labour, a drone they call the Hawk 30.

Also Read: We’re On The Cusp Of 5G, And Various Companies Are Working To Get The World To Adopt It

An experimental prototype that’s fully solar-powered, the Hawk 30 is designed to glide way up in the air and beam 5G Internet down to devices on the ground. It features 10 electric engines that can carry it up to its operational altitude of 20 km.

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The two companies signed an agreement with NASA last November, allowing the drone to take off from Armstrong Flight Research Center in California next week. They’re allowed to carry out test flights up to about 3 kilometres over the next three months.

Internet drone

ALSO READ: Elon Musk Is Raising Rs 3,500 Crore To Launch 400 Satellites For Global Internet Connectivity

If successful, it could perhaps be used to bring 5G to areas where laying cables would be problematic.

AeroVironment aren’t the only guys building an Internet drone either. Boeing is working on a drone it calls Odysseus, while Airbus has the Zephyr.



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