DJI Partners With South Korean Telecom for Drone-Based Video Streaming

DJI will use SK Telecom's mobile communications network to live stream ultra-high definition drone footage to users and commercial clients.

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On Monday, the world’s leading drone manufacturer, DJI, announced a partnership with South Korea’s telecom service provider SK Telecom to develop drone-based video streaming devices and solutions using the company's mobile communications network. 

According to Drone DJ, what this essentially means is that DJI drones would be able to stream live video feeds ranging from high-definition (1080p) footage to ultra-high definition (4K to 8K) footage, with extremely low latency, through SK Telecom’s communications network to any wifi-enabled smartphone, tablet, television or computer devices in the area.

Part of the partnership agreement states that SK Telecom will offer the high-endurance live video streaming encoding data, a mobile app, and server software solutions through its “T Live Caster” streaming technology. 

“In the future, SK Telecom’s video reception and control server solution ’T live studio’ could be integrated with DJI’s drone operations management solution ‘FlightHub’ to help enterprises efficiently manager their drone operations in the field,” SK Telecom said in a statement. 

While combining DJI’s smartphone app (which customers use to control and manage their drones) with SK Telecom’s mobile communications network will provide far more rapid and efficient transmission of data to regular citizens, it’s not just the ability for recreational users to live stream their high-def drone footage to their devices that’s exciting here. The potential for television networks to use live, high-fidelity footage in their broadcasts, for example, or public safety groups and agricultural businesses getting a clearer and more well-informed picture of what’s occurring on the ground, are significant advantages here as well.

SK Telecom claims that 5G-enabled smartphone owners can live stream drone feeds in 4K and even 8K ultra-high definition through the company’s video transmission app. This new partnership will primarily focus its services on South Korea before expanding to Japan and the United States, the latter of which has yet to standardize 5G communications.