Vodafone demos flying real drones in the metaverse over 5G

Vodafone demos flying real drones in the metaverse over 5G Ryan is a senior editor at TechForge Media with over a decade of experience covering the latest technology and interviewing leading industry figures. He can often be sighted at tech conferences with a strong coffee in one hand and a laptop in the other. If it's geeky, he’s probably into it. Find him on Twitter (@Gadget_Ry) or Mastodon (@gadgetry@techhub.social)


Vodafone has demonstrated how real-life drones can be piloted in the metaverse over a 5G network.

The low-latency aspect of 5G enables new use cases that were not possible over previous generation networks.

One early 5G application was cloud gaming. Longer-term, 5G combined with advancements in robotics will enable remote surgery when a patient isn’t expected to make it to a hospital or when a specialist is based elsewhere in the country (or even the world.)

However, in the near future, it’ll be IoT applications – connecting real-world objects like drones – in which 5G makes the most significant impact. 5G enables “things” to be connected in more rural locations, over greater distances, and with more reliability than ever before.

During MWC 2023, Vodafone is inviting attendees down to its stand to enter the telco’s purpose-built metaverse and fly a 5G-connected drone.

The experience is enjoyed using a Meta Quest Pro VR headset. The drone, meanwhile, is based 830 kilometres (516 miles) away in Seville.

Vodafone already has vast experience with using 5G to support cutting-edge IoT deployments. For example, Vodafone launched the world’s first marine-focused 5G testbed in Plymouth, UK last year.

The ‘Plymouth Sound’ testbed is a collaboration between Vodafone, Nokia, Plymouth City Council, and Plymouth Marine Laboratory.

Plymouth Sound features data boots and solar-powered robotic vessels with environmental and chemical sensors that deliver invaluable data to scientists about the marine ecosystem.

Want to learn about the IoT from industry leaders? Check out IoT Tech Expo taking place in Amsterdam, California, and London. The event is co-located with Digital Transformation Week.

Explore other upcoming enterprise technology events and webinars powered by TechForge here.

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