Samsung demos drone solution for 4G, 5G network optimization

The drone solution will simplify cell site management, says Samsung

Samsung Electronics demonstrated its new drone-based antenna configuration measurement solution for 4G and 5G networks. Performed on the company’s campus, the demonstration involved the use of a smartphone with a remote control application that connected to a camera-equipped drone, which captured photos of the antennas installed on a building’s rooftop. According to Samsung, the drone solution will simplify cell site management, while also improving employee safety and optimizing network performance.

After the photos of the cell antennas are captured, they are viewable via the smartphone and can then be transmitted to a cloud server within seconds, where Samsung said that deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) solution instantly verifies the rotation and tilt of the antennas, so that it can be determined if the antennas were installed correctly at predefined optimal angles.

Results can be transmitted and processed in less than minute, Samsung said, which allowed the engineer on the ground to view them on-site in near-real-time on the smartphone screen. Following the demo, Samsung stated that it was confirmed that the solution can accomplish the entire task of ensure proper antenna positioning and configuration within 15 minutes — a clear advantage, when compared to the several hours it can take for a tower climber to do the same.

Further, the company intends to add additional features to the solution that will make it possible for engineers to remotely adjust the antenna tilt to its optimal position from a mobile device and PC.

Efficiency is only a fraction of what Samsung hopes the new solution will bring. Without the need for operator field engineers to scale cell towers, the drone solution also offers improved safety.

“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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