By Stacy Liberatore For Dailymail.com
Published: 23:45 GMT, 3 November 2020 | Updated: 23:46 GMT, 3 November 2020
The 5G network is set to take flight, as two UK firms are designing antennae fitted drones that beam the high-speed connectivity from the stratosphere to devices around the globe.
Stratospheric Platforms Limited (SPL) and Cambridge Consultants announced plans to unleash a fleet 65,617 feet above the surface, each of which releases 480 steerable beams to blanket an area with the network.
The teams say just 60 of the remote-controlled planes could cover the UK with 5G connectivity, but the goal is to ‘connect the unconnected in the developing world.’
The hydrogen-powered vehicle completed the first successful test trial in September and although it is still in the proof-of-concept stage, the teams are targeting 2024 to roll out the service commercially.
Scroll down for video
The 5G network is set to take flight, as two UK firms are designing antennae fitted drones that beam the high-speed connectivity from the stratosphere to devices around the globe
The craft weighs just 264 pounds, stretches 32 feet and runs on hydrogen that produces longer endurance, but releases zero emissions.
The secret sauce to the design is the antenna strapped to the drone that, according to Cambridge, produces hundreds of beams that ensure fast and even coverage across the area.
SPL CEO Richard Deakin said that, in the UK the initial roll out of 4G was slow and expensive and the transition to 5G would require an additional 400,000 cell towers.
However, one of SPL’s drones could replace at