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Drones alongside 5G to solve poor network connection during crowded events 

A trial took place this week at the Greek Egaleo Stadium near Athens, to see if a better level of network service could be achieved during mass crowded events, reports a press release.

AI-driven power line company Hepta Airborne, based in Tallinn, Estonia, in co-operation with partners NCSR Demokritis, Cosmoste and others related to the 5G Drones Project, were involved.

Popular events like concerts, football games and public demonstrations, can lead to a high communication capacity demand,  where a deteriorated network service with dropped calls and degraded Internet connectivity often occur.

Telecommunication companies have deployed temporary solutions, such as portable base stations, but this field has still maintained a significant challenge for cellular network operators. Setting up stations takes 90 days, but using drones alongside 5G, can be established in only 90 minutes.

The release says, “Using drones at mass events with 5G equipment onboard allows better network coverage, incredible internet speeds, and less network congestion. Drones can be deployed rapidly for this purpose granting much more flexibility in responding to sudden demand spikes.”

Henri Klemmer, CEO of Hepta Airborne, believes that unmanned aerial systems (UAVs) in the 5G network constitute a great potential for different industry verticals. He said, “For Hepta Airborne, the conducted trials in the 5G Drones Project promotes open innovation amongst industry top players and improves the implementation of novel technologies to our day-to-day power line inspection projects for potential and existing customers.”

Hepta Airborne automates the analysis of power lines by utilising drones, helicopters, satellites, and large data analysis. The AI-driven software “uBird” finds defects and potential risks to prevent future failures and save costs and time.

The 5G!Drones primary focus is flying “on top of” 5G facilities. The objectives are:-

: To validate 5G KPIs

: To evaluate and validate the performance of different UAV vertical applications

The 5G Drones project relies on the expertise from other UAV partners including Airbus, Alerion and Frequentis as well as supporting industry partners like Nokia and Thales alongside industry experts DroneRadar, and Infolysis.

The unmanned craft cover, on average, 10x more distance both daytime and night-time and can withstand harsh weather conditions, while additional services include storm damage detection. Over 90% of such flights are Beyond Visual Line of Sight (BVLOS).

Meanwhile, Hepta has been asked to digitise more than 40,000 kilometres of power line networks in Estonia, Finland, Sweden, Ukraine, Lithuania, Denmark, and Sweden. The company is supported by EIT InnoEnergy, the innovation engine for sustainable energy across Europe, supported by the European Institute of Innovation and Technology.

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