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Macro Airplanes parked airport

Vodafone and Airbus: the sky is not the limit but the playing field

24 Sep 2019

There is a lot of buzz, excitement and hype around the possibilities of 5G.

Its development promises to open-up some groundbreaking possibilities and it will ultimately enable a real transformation in transport, agriculture, education, public services, smart factories, healthcare and more, changing business models and our lives in unimaginable ways.

When it comes to mobility, 5G will definitely help make travel smarter, safer and more diverse, and not just on roads. A great example of this is the remotely controlled 12m ALtAIR airship we presented at the Frankfurt motor show (IAA), developed in partnership with Airbus.


The airship was in Aldenoven in Germany, where our 5G mobility lab is located, and remotely controlled from 250 kilometres away in Frankfurt. It was the first time an unmanned aerial vehicle has flown over a heavily populated area.

The cutting-edge experiment was made possible by a combination of 5G’s extremely low latency and network slicing. Network slicing allocates a slice of the 5G network exclusively for a specific use, and guarantees the level of latency and response. This means there is virtually no delay in response time and paves the way for many other use-cases and critical applications that rely on a swift response time.

The success of this test of 5G in the sky paves the way for unmanned, 5G controlled, airships in the future. At major events, for example, cameras fitted to the airship can transmit spectacular live coverage and images or be used to support the police and emergency services in their work.

And this is just the start. Airbus and Vodafone are working together to jointly develop further 5G applications that will continue to transform the world of mobility.


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