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AR.Drone 2.0 flown over 1km with 4G LTE

by Alistair Lowe on 5 October 2012, 11:00

Tags: Parrot

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If you were previously in the category that believed Parrot's AR.Drone 2.0 quadocopter was a nice toy but too expensive given its limited range, perhaps an experiment conducted by global telecoms firm, Alcatel-Lucent, will change your mind.

In what was essentially a publicity stunt to promote 4G, the team created an ad-hoc 4G bubble, utilising a portable base station and antenna, within which to test the Drone. Attaching a standard 4G USB modem to the unit, the group was able to surpass the maximum WiFi range of 100 meters and take the Drone ten times further, up to distance of 1km (3,280 feet), all whilst streaming 720p HD video.

The test was performed using the 800MHz band, one which, in the UK, we suspect is likely to be snapped-up by either Vodafone or O2 during the upcoming spectrum bidding and, is one of the bands that will provide the greatest distance and in-building penetration, at the cost of capacity over the same spectrum width.

 



HEXUS Forums :: 5 Comments

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Think you mean Drone ;)
Well Drone !
For some strange reason, I'm finding the following quote:

at the cost of capacity over the same spectrum width.


hard to swallow. In similar radio conditions, 5MHz of 800 spectrum provides the same bit rate as 5MHz as at 2.6G. In other words; bits per hertz at a given LTE bandwidth is roughly the same. The difference is that the path loss in 2.6G is far greater so you have to be closer to the cell to get the same performance.
ajones
For some strange reason, I'm finding the following quote:



hard to swallow. In similar radio conditions, 5MHz of 800 spectrum provides the same bit rate as 5MHz as at 2.6G. In other words; bits per hertz at a given LTE bandwidth is roughly the same. The difference is that the path loss in 2.6G is far greater so you have to be closer to the cell to get the same performance.

So are you saying there is no benefit to using higher frequencies?
miniyazz
So are you saying there is no benefit to using higher frequencies?


The advantage is spectrum availability. If you examine the trends, operators are trying to get the lower spectrums because of the coverage is larger; you need a fraction of the number of base stations to provide coverage at 450MHz than at 2.1GHz for example. However, as a result, there is generally less spectrum available for the lower frequency bands (30Mhz for the 800 band versus 70MHz at 2.6) as it's competing with other/legacy technologies that require good radio propogation and also serving rural areas.

To achieve the capacity that LTE is aiming for, you either need lots of spectrum, or lots of smaller cells, and this is where the higher frequency spectrum comes into play. When you deploy a low power base station that only needs a 50m range, then high frequency propagation loss becomes less of a factor. You'll probably see the carriers deploy a low-frequency umbrella network to provide coverage, and then another layer underneath using the higher frequency spectrum to provide capacity. There are also features in the pipeline for LTE that allow the devices to aggregate spectrum together from 2 or more base stations (Carrier Aggregation).

The reason I posted was that the only reason there is more capacity at 2.6G over 800, is because there is more spectrum available, not (as the OP suggested) that the radio interface is different.