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Do Drones Use Cellular Data?

Do Drones Use Cellular Data?

Do drones use cellular data?

We need to answer this question with more questions.

Can you fly a drone without connection to cellular data?

Then the answer is yes.


Can a drone connect to a cellular network?

Then the answer is yes.

Drones and Cellular Data

Drones can be operated without connection to a cellular network because the controller and drone transmit and receive its communication over RF (radio frequency), usually 2.4Ghz and 5Ghz.

Most drones use a GPS module which enable the drone to perform functions such as autonomous flight, return to home, waypoint navigation, position hold and height control (400ft maximum height).
With these two factors of RF and GPS, you can see that drones can be operated independent of a cellular network and in fact this is the most common form of operation.

Drones can however be connected to a cellular network and will therefore use cellular data. An example of this would be the Botlink XRD which is a 4G LTE Drone Module. This extends your drone operating capabilities to the entirety of the current 4G network worldwide. This means that by using cellular data you can operate your drone anywhere in the world that there is 4G cellular coverage.

NOTE: Before you consider operating a drone BVLOS (Beyond Visual Line of Site), you will need to consider the legalities of where the drone is being flown and the drone regulations for that country. In addition, we have all likely experienced times with our mobile phones whereby 4G coverage has not been available and this will clearly need to be a factor of consideration before undertaking any flight.