Samsung demoed a solution featuring drones that were able to make adjustments and other maintenance tasks on 4G and 5G antennas on cell sites.
According to Samsung, the demonstration of its new drone-based antenna configuration measurement solution was held at the company’s campus.
This automated solution would offer “operators a simplified way to more efficiently manage cell sites, improve employee safety, and ultimately optimize network performance.”
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.
Samsung said the visual data was viewable via the engineer’s smartphone and then was transmitted to a cloud server within seconds. A deep learning-based artificial intelligence (AI) solution was then used to verify the rotation of the antennas. Engineers were then able to determine if the antennas were installed correctly at predefined optimal angles.
Samsung said the whole process took less than a minute to transmit the data and process the results, enabling the engineer to view results on-site in real-time on the smartphone screen.
The company said this shows that using drones to take measurements eliminates hours and hours of work for the task, which usually involves maintenance personnel to climb up and down the tower to take the measurements.
Soon, engineers will also be able to adjust the antenna tilt using the same solution, Samsung said.
“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, VP and head of network automation 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.”