Samsung finds drone-based 5G network optimisation formula

SEOUL – Samsung Electronics has successfully demonstrated as new drone-based antenna configuration measurement solution for 4G and 5G networks at its headquarters in Seoul, Korea

This automated solution will offer operators a simplified way to more efficiently manage cell sites, improve employee safety, and ultimately optimize network performance.

The safety benefits offered by this new solution’s safety benefits will be especially helpful during site audit and maintenance the world over; which inspections often require two field personnel to be dispatched to a site to audit or adjust the antenna angles — and requires climbs that would need more advanced safety training.

In the demonstration, an engineer on the ground used a smartphone with a remote control application to fly a camera-equipped drone that captured photos of the antennas installed on a building’s rooftop. The visual data was viewable via the engineer’s smartphone and then was transmitted to a cloud server within seconds. The deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) solution instantly verified the rotation and tilt of the antennas, so that the engineers could determine if the antennas were installed correctly at predefined optimal angles.

It took less than a minute to transmit the data and process the results, enabling the engineer on site to view results in real-time on his smartphone screen. The demonstration verified that Samsung’s solution can accomplish the task within 15 minutes – starting from flying the drone to the delivery of measurement results. Done without the help of a drone, the work can take several hours; with an engineer having to physically climb up and down the cell tower – ordinarily laden with expensive and heavy equipment in the process – to prepare and measure antenna configurations.

Additional features for this new solution will allow the engineers to remotely adjust the antenna tilts to its optimal position from a desktop or mobile device.

“As the number of 5G network sites grows, there has been a heightened focus on network performance by operators, and we are seeing an increased market demand for intelligent solutions for site maintenance,” said Sohyong Chong, Vice President and Head of Network Automation, Networks Business at Samsung Electronics. “Once this solution launches globally later this year, it will offer a safer, more cost-effective and convenient way to satisfy market demands, leveraging our unique capabilities in combining the latest technologies—drones, AI and 5G.”


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