Verizon said to be launching data plans for drones

People buy data plans for their smartphones so they can send email, check Facebook, and more, but what about a data plan for your drone?

Wireless carrier Verizon will start selling such plans, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday. The plans reportedly will begin at 1 GB of data for $25 a month.

Also on Thursday Verizon announced that it has been working since 2014 on the technology behind flying drones over its wireless network.

This year Verizon successfully flew a 17-foot unmanned aircraft over its 4G LTE network, the company said, a technology that could be used to do things like inspect pipelines or electrical transmission lines.

“This latest trial demonstrated how emerging technology combined with wireless networks can improve safety and security,” Mike Haberman, vice president, network operations at Verizon, said in a statement. “A nationwide reliable 4G LTE network is the foundation for the future of mobile [Internet of Things] in the air.”

Usually a drone is flown directly by remote control, and one thing possibly holding back changes to the technology is that federal drone regulations stipulate that a drone must be within visual line-of-sight of its controler.