Communication networks play a crucial role in public emergency and disaster management – emergency communication network services are playing as a backbone in the prevention/mitigation of disasters/community emergencies (natural or human-caused). So, choosing an existing infrastructure 4G/5G wireless network with prioritized traffic is the best way to extend the coverage to provide solutions for emergency services.
Robust and high bandwidth network connectivity will benefit the first responders, such as police forces to contact the police control room, especially when handling a disaster, crimes, and other such offenses on a specific spot. For example, body cameras police are the best video streaming solution over 5G that will enable the police force presented in the control room to help those police personnel who are dealing with the emergency. With the help of a body camera, the police force from the control room will be able to assess the situation where the incident occurs so that they can send more police force or make better decisions to help their co-workers and control the situation.
High-speed emergency network communication will also enable first responders such as fire rescue to help manage and sustain response operations during a fire hazard. In any emergency and disaster (natural or human-made) environment, there is a chance that mobile network communications can become congested in disaster areas however, prioritized traffic will enable pre-emption of non-emergency traffic over mission-critical calls made by first responders. For example, drone-based cameras connected over 5G could be used in multistorey fire scenarios to extinguish the fire with more accuracy and reduced time.
Good network connectivity or maintaining a robust ambulance emergency network is a must in terms of real-time communication between driver and ER (emergency room). For example, ambulance personnel can share significant information about the patient with doctors who are waiting in the ER room for the arrival of the patient so that they can plan lifesaving medical procedures.
Mobile network-based Emergency Network requires operations and maintenance teams to maintain the network, usually done by the hosting operator, and any significant Service Outage requires immediate action. For telecom operators, successful network maintenance does not only include optimizing communication networks but also the people, processes, and systems that manage telecom networks.
What are the main activities done by the operator to maintain the network?
Maintenance of 4G base stations and transmission units : Regular maintenance, which includes field visits and battery checks, temperature checks, received power (TX), etc.
Drive testing to measure user experience : Regular drive test is carried out that measures user experience in high footfall areas in malls, roads, temples, and any public places. In addition, regular benchmarking is also carried out with respect to other operators.
Continuous coverage improvements : For coverage improvement, regular optimization and new site rollout is carried out continuously.
Radio network optimization – Existing sites are regularly optimized to serve the best possible area, and this optimization includes soft (parameter level) and hard optimization (done by field visit).
Rollout – If the existing infrastructure/site is unable to cover any particular location, then a new site is the solution - a green field site will be planned by the operator for this location.
RantCell crowd sourcing app that can be deployed on measuring devices used by first responders who collect significant amounts of information related to the quality of experience on the emergency network in terms of signal level, data bandwidth, and latency about location. This enables network owners to identify no coverage spots in urban and rural areas where network coverage needs to be improved. The crowd sourcing solution can help authorities to build their own map data about network availability at the state or national level. This will significantly remove the need for traditional drive testing considering responder units are constantly on the move 24/7.
The solution can also provide information if the mobile network coverage is reliable or poor or non-existent ahead of time before reaching the emergency spot. This enables the first responders to strategies the communication back to the control room, for example- video streaming might not be possible, however, the voice would still be available at the emergency spot.
Crowd sourcing would be more efficient and economical than using the traditional tools and investing in skilled manpower in the form of a drive test by an RF engineer to carry out these tests. In addition, crowd source solutions can help with various other use cases complaint handling by network users, proactive approach to improve the network, identify cities having worst experience, authorities, and network service providers to reduce the monitoring costs and efficiently identify their network issues and improve user experience.