Mission-critical 4G to 5G: a multi-phase approach
While 5G will certainly enable useful new use cases for public safety applications, 4G already provides lots of value to public safety agencies today. It is not necessary to wait for 5G to be implemented to take advantage of these mission-critical broadband networks.
Key examples where 4G is providing important enhancements to public safety applications already include:
- Fire brigades using drones to stream real time video in risky emergency scenarios, such as forest fires
- Real time live video streaming through body cams or in vehicle cameras
- Connected ambulances that enable remote diagnostics from hospital to ambulance
- Connected wearables with bio-sensors for first responders such as fire personnel
5G will gradually be available in different phases, allowing to both to scale and enhance the LTE based services. The first phase scheduled to be implemented from 2020 will allow for enhanced Massive BroadBand (eMBB). This will increase both the capacity and the throughput of the network. Typically, eMBB will be rolled out in dense urban areas where a high density of first responders with high definition video cameras, remote medical or High Definition (HD) mapping tools might operate in case of disaster or special event. This phase has already started and should then be progressively deployed in lower density areas.
With Release 16 and 17 of the 5G standard, the second phase will introduce ultra-reliability, low latency, massive availability of IoT and network slicing from 2023 and beyond. These features in the network will support such applications as coordinated swarms of autonomous flying drones with real-time object recognition and autonomous robots for intervention in hostile environments. With this network time sensitiveness, real-time Augmented Reality (AR) content overlay such as face recognition in a crowd or geo-location during a fire will be possible, as will the deployment of unmanned vehicles in dangerous situations. Another application is remote coordinated traffic management with cross-road traffic light changes managed for emergency situations.
With haptic feedbacks to recreate the sense of touch in real-time, remote controlled surgery will be a reality. For emergency healthcare, 5G can help put medical knowledge right where it’s needed most. As demonstrated in Dubai, an ambulance can be directly connected to an emergency room doctor, and the physician can begin examining a patient before he even arrives on site, using Virtual Reality (VR) goggles. The connection enables an augmented-reality, immersive view of the patient and paramedic, with IoT-enabled diagnostic tools, allowing the patient’s vital signs to be monitored in real-time.
By supporting the widespread use of sensors, biometric devices, and body cameras, 5G will let public safety agencies dramatically increase their use of data to meet a wide range of goals. It will help scale the usage of a full range of applications from connected wearable devices such as body cameras, to environmental sensors detecting fire, gas, heat and pressure and noise detection sensors, by first responders across a country. It will also allows the operations center to collect massive amounts of data and analytics in real-time with sensors, video and immersive applications to keep emergency teams safer and facilitate disaster prevention and mitigation without putting emergency teams in harm’s way.
To find out more about 5G evolution for public safety, download our white paper or contact a Nokia Public Safety advisor to discuss a transformation plan to enrich the lives, safety, and well-being of all your citizens.