Nokia unveils 5G ‘drone-in-a-box’ solution

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Nokia has become the first company to launch a turnkey 5G “drone-in-a-box” solution.

The solution is designed to address the increasing demands of organisations such as energy, construction, defence, smart cities, and public safety agencies.

Nokia Drone Networks is CE-certified to fulfil EU safety requirements and is built to enhance situational awareness for professionals using public and private 4G/LTE and 5G networks.

Thomas Eder, Head of Embedded Wireless Solutions at Nokia, said:

“Our mission is to reshape the industrial UAV (unmanned aerial vehicle) market, providing enhanced situational awareness to aid search and rescue, surveillance, and other UAV operations in a wide variety of industries.

Nokia Drone Networks has been designed to comply with the remote operation requirements of aviation regulatory bodies such as EASA in Europe and FAA in the United States. This will help us address growing market demands as a turnkey provider with a solution designed and produced in Europe.”

The solution is manufactured in Europe and comprises Nokia drones, a docking station, a dual gimbal camera, and edge cloud processing using Nokia MX Industrial Edge (MXIE).

Nokia says the use of cellular connectivity technologies offers high data rates, lower latency, and higher reliability, allowing more data to be streamed than over Wi-Fi.

The solution can be remotely operated for search and rescue activities and to assess damages in a hazardous environment. Nokia drones can also be programmed to manage autonomous scheduled flights for extra security at large events or to manage regular remote equipment inspections.

The included docking station protects the drone and payload, such as sensor devices or the dual gimbal camera, from external hazards and harsh weather, while it remotely charges the drone to prepare for the next flight.

When combined with MXIE, data from Nokia drones can be collected and processed in real-time at the edge cloud, with an open API framework that allows agencies and enterprises to onboard pre-integrated Nokia and third-party applications and systems.

The Nokia Drone Networks solution also enables the integration of its drones with third-party applications, enabling them to be used as a flying data collection platform leveraging reliable 4G and 5G edge cloud connectivity.

“The unique feature set enabling the integration of Nokia drones with third-party applications will aid the transformation of the drones, allowing them to be used as a flying data collection platform leveraging reliable 4G and 5G edge cloud connectivity,” explained Eder.

Nokia and the New York Power Authority have already demonstrated the use of the Nokia Drone Networks solution, connected over private LTE, for transmission line inspection.

Depending on the deployed configuration, Nokia’s drones can offer over 50 minutes of flight time and cover distances of more than 30km, making it an ideal solution for industries that require enhanced situational awareness to increase efficiency and productivity.

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