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Drones and 5G Save Lives


Drones and 5G Save Lives


Drone use in transporting defibrillators and critical medical supplies has been successful in the recent past. A new drone use case is under development in a project between Telia, Ericsson and Karolinska Institute of Medicine exploring if 5G and drones can offer emergency help. The idea is that, when someone calls the emergency services for support in the event of a cardiac arrest, they can dispatch a drone with a defibrillator to the incident, travelling four times faster than an ambulance.

An app sounds an alarm on phone notifying that someone was having a cardiac arrest nearby as a part of an emergency services’ program which sends out alarms for support to be first on site where a cardiac arrest occurs. The app also lets volunteers know where they can find the closest defibrillator and directs them to the incident. The app also guides volunteers to the closest defibrillator, and from there go to the incident.

Mats Guldbrand who has been a part of the development team of Ericsson’s internal competence system since May 2000 Mats and is a highly skilled presenter with a proven knowledge in 5G, IoT, Industry 4.0 and regulatory issues says, “The potential of drone technology will only truly be unleashed when both technological capabilities and regulations allow for autonomous operation beyond visual line of sight.”

Guldbrand says the company is integrating drones into a host of areas, cellular and broadband IoT and automating site inspection. At MWC Barcelona, Ericsson also showcased an AI-based drone detection technology that can maintain spectral efficiency for users even when there are a lot of drones in the air, such as at a sporting event.

This is only one area of drone use case development. A prediction by the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) estimates USD 82 billion economic impact and account for 100,000 jobs by 2025 in the drone market. In a recent Ericsson white paper – titled Drones and networks: Ensuring safe and secure operations – the authors identified a host of 5G-based drone use cases from broadcasting to agriculture to traffic safety but also write that going beyond the visual line of sight requires much more scalable, reliable, and secure connectivity such as that provided by mobile LTE and 5G networks.

Drones can also be used for other critical use cases. Several projects around the world involve autonomous drones for avalanche beacon rescue. This drone use case is about deploying an autonomous drone in one corner of the avalanche and letting it scan the whole area for beacons, saving critical time for rescue workers to find anyone trapped in the avalanche.

This marriage of LTE and 5G networks with drone technology will work for the benefit of first responders in search and rescue operations.

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Cite this article as: Vidi Nene, "Drones and 5G Save Lives," in, May 15, 2019,

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