EE live streams drone racing over 4G at Wembley Stadium

EE, along with mobile technology provider Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., transformed England’s most famous sporting venue into an aerial race course to host Freestyle Drone Racing, streamed live around the stadium on the 4GEE Action Cam over superfast 4G.

A bespoke freestyle course was built by the European Rotor Sports Association (ERSA) inside the 90,000-capacity bowl, including slaloms through the players’ tunnel, bank turns around the corner flags, and barrel rolls above the royal box.

The drone racing event was a chance to celebrate the recent success of Europe’s leading pilots and set up an exhibition tournament in the country’s most spectacular Stadium. The London event also saw the homecoming of Luke Bannister, the Somerset 16 year-old who was recently crowned World Champion in Dubai.

EE Brand Director, Spencer McHugh, said:

“This superfast new sport is the perfect test for our superfast 4G network and Wembley Stadium provided the perfect racetrack, as well as putting these amazing drone pilots on the world’s biggest stage. Being able to stream the breath-taking action live over 4G to screens online and around this great stadium takes the sport of drone racing to another level.”

ERSA’s engineers built prototype racing drones around the Qualcomm® Snapdragon Flight™ drone platform, a highly optimized 58x40mm board targeted specifically for consumer drones applications.

Enrico Salvatori, senior vice president, president, Qualcomm EMEA, said:

“Qualcomm Technologies is applying its integration and SoC expertise learnt from the mobile space to the IoT space and one of the exciting growth areas is drones. We used this event to demonstrate the true capabilities of Snapdragon Flight, a platform designed for the rapidly growing consumer drone segment, and use it under one of the most intense conditions possible – drone racing.”

First Person View (FPV) drone racing involves live video – captured on-board the drone – being streamed to the pilot’s headset to enable split-second manoeuvres at speeds up to 150km/h. This breathtaking live perspective is usually only available to the team controlling the drone, however for the first time spectators in the stadium and online were also able to go along for the ride around Wembley Stadium. By attaching 4GEE Action Cams – the world’s first 4G action camera, which also features a Qualcomm Snapdragon 400 processor – additional footage was streamed from the drones to multiple screens around the stadium, live and in high definition over EE’s superfast 4G network. 

EE customers currently benefit from EE’s 4G+ network inside Wembley Stadium. With access to the UK’s highest capacity mobile network, thousands of fans can stream goal replays, check sports apps and upload the action to social media, all without having to worry about delays and buffering. The tournament also demonstrated Qualcomm®’s Snapdragon Flight™ control system, which was incorporated into the racing drones, dramatically reducing their weight and improving the response times for the pilots.

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About EE

EE, part of the BT Group, is the largest and most advanced mobile communications company in Britain, delivering mobile and fixed communications services to consumers and businesses. EE has approximately 14,000 employees and 550 retail stores, and serves more than 31 million connections across its mobile, fixed and wholesale networks.

EE runs the UK's biggest and fastest mobile network, it pioneered the UK's first superfast 4G mobile service in October 2012 and is the first European operator to surpass 14million 4G customers. EE's 4G coverage today reaches more than 95% of the UK population, with double speed 4G reaching 80%. EE’s 2G coverage reaches 99% of the population while 3G reaches 98%.

In the last few years, EE has received extensive independent recognition, including being ranked the UK's best overall network by RootMetrics®; Best Network at the 2014 and 2015 Mobile News Awards; Best Network for Business and Best Consumer Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Industry Awards; Best Network at the 2014 & 2015 Mobile Choice Consumer Awards, and Best Network at the What Mobile Awards 2014; Fastest Network at the 2014 and 2016 uSwitch Mobile Awards; Best Mobile Network at the 2014 Recombu Awards, and Winners of Best Connected Gadget at the Mobile Choice Consumer Awards 2015.

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