Can You Fly a Drone Without Cell Service?

Yes, you can fly a drone without cell service. A tablet or the drone’s controller are other options for controlling a drone. However, without cell service, you may lose some of the functionality of the drone. 

Hello, fellow drone enthusiasts! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional drone pilot and a long-time drone enthusiast. I have flown my drones without cell service and have experienced the reduced options that are available when flying with cellular service.

In this article, I will go over some of the functionality issues that are affected when flying without cellular service, as well as circumstances where you must have cellular service.

When Do You Need Cell Service

If you plan on using some of the smart features, you need cellular service. Without cellular service, you will not be able to gain features such as signal strength, altitude, live video, and access to real-time data.

Provide Drone Accurate Location

Another drawback of not using or having cellular service available is the limitation of being able to obtain accurate drone locations at all times from the GPS. 

Update Maps

Cellular systems allow you to get real-time data such as updated map services. It is important, but not required, that you have the most updated maps. A stable internet connection is what allows you to get the latest map coordinates and keep up to date with any mapping changes.

Download Flight Applications

Another perk of using cellular or wi-fi service when flying is having the ability to download flight applications. Many of the smart tools that are available are found in these apps. Some of them provide convenience services such as post-flight editing of videos and photos, access to camera settings, and other advanced options.

Stream Live Videos

The ability to stream live videos can be very useful in many instances. If you want to get information to an audience in real time, or if you are using your drone for something like a podcast or Youtube broadcast, live videos can be helpful. 


Below are some answers to some frequently asked questions.

Can You Fly a DJI Drone Without Signal?

Yes, you can fly a DJI drone without a cellular or wi-fi signal. However, you may not have access to some of the advanced features of the drone.

Can I Use Drone Without Internet?

Yes, you can use your drone by only using the controller. An internet connection is not required to fly a drone. 

Do You Need Mobile Data for DJI?

No, you do not need mobile data to fly a DJI drone. While it is not required, it is recommended.

Final Thoughts

It is not necessary to have a cellular or internet connection to fly most drones. However, to experience the full capabilities of your drone, a cellular or internet service is necessary. 

Do you use cell data to control your drone when in flight? Please share your experience by leaving a comment below.

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