T-Mobile announced today that it’s investing in the Drone Racing League to help develope 5G drone racing tech. The two companies are teaming up to create the first racing drones with 5G built in, including the creation of the first custom racing drones powered by T-Mobile 5G that’ll be used during the 2021 DRL Allianz World Championship Season
T-Mo and the DRL say that they want to authentically build 5G-equipped drones into the sport of drone racing. The built-in 5G connectivity will be used to stream the DRL races to viewers in real-time.
The partnership could also help to expand use cases for 5G drones outside of racing. John Saw, T-Mobile’s EVP of Advanced & Emerging Technologies, points to something like Unmanned Life, a company that actually graduated from the T-Mobile Accelerator and is creating drones that can disinfect public places in the U.K. to help fight the spread of COVID-19 and also deliver medical supplies from pharmacies to people at their homes.
T-Mo touts its 5G network as being a perfect fit for using drones to perform tasks out in the world. “Low latency is key to drone development taking off, as it will enable quick coordination of drones in the air and the ability for Traffic Management Systems to approach real-time awareness of drones and other obstacles,” explains Saw, who goes on to say that in areas where Standalone 5G is available, T-Mobile engineers have seen up to a 40% improvement in latency.
T-Mobile has not disclosed how much it invested in the Drone Racing League. The multi-year deal was made via the T-Mobile Ventures fund.
— Mike Sievert (@MikeSievert) December 14, 2020