Japan to lift ban on 5G access for drones in 2024

Author: Editorial
event 30.01.2024.
Foto: Shutterstock

The Japanese government is set to end the prohibition on drones accessing 5G high-speed wireless communication networks this year, allowing for enhanced disaster relief and infrastructure inspections.

As reported by Nikkei Asia, the move will enable drones to transmit 4K high-definition video and other images in real time, harnessing the capabilities of 5G’s rapid data transmission and reception.

Currently, the use of 5G-enabled devices in airspace is restricted. However, the Japanese government plans to revise regulations to permit such use specifically for drones.

In times of disasters, drones equipped with 5G capabilities can swiftly provide high-resolution images, aiding in the prompt assessment of flooding or damage to homes. For infrastructure inspections, these drones can detect minor cracks and other issues in hard-to-reach locations, including steel towers and mountainous areas.

Broadcasting high-definition aerial images during outdoor sporting events, such as golf, has been highlighted as another potential application.

To address potential interference issues, especially with ordinary cell phones, the government aims to establish a method that narrows down the frequency bands and radio wave output for drone use when connected to a 5G network.

Numerous companies are already utilizing drones in diverse ways, and Kao is considering field-testing them in locations like Hyogo prefecture for transporting substantial cargo over long distances, particularly in underpopulated areas.

According to YH Research, the global market for 5G-enabled drones is expected to expand from $120 million in 2022 to $697 million in 2025, reaching an estimated $2.23 billion in 2029.

Furthermore, there is optimism that 5G-connected drones could enhance delivery efficiency. Shingo Maeda, director at the Drone Service Promotion Association, anticipates that “in the future, when many drones are operated remotely at the same time, using 5G will be safer.”


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