The cellular (and fixed telephony) services typically cannot accommodate sudden demands for network resources during emergencies. Quite often during an emergency both cellular and fixed telephony congestion occurs leading to service unavailability. First Responders are using mission critical networks to conduct their operations, which are planned to offer availability during emergencies. However, one vital communication path is severely affected during and afterward a crisis. This is the flow of information from citizens to First Responders, therefore information from the affected areas and communities in need are not reaching the First Responders’ Call Centers. Because of this absence of crowd sourcing information, the First Responders have limited information about the aftereffects of the crisis. Because people are on streets, Responders should use helicopters to perform rapid area surveys and assess the situation themselves. Furthermore, there is need for common operations between First Responders from various disciplines (e.g. para-medics, Fire Fighters, police officers, etc.).
According to the incident scenario, a strong earthquake strikes the Attica prefecture, causing residents of the Athens to run into the streets. The quake causes limited power cuts and a series of communication problems around the capital. Instantly, all the residents in the greater Athens area they attempt to use their cell phones to reach out family and friends. In a suburb of Athens, following the earthquake, a partial collapse of a building (warehouse) occurs. Moreover, there is an evolving fire in the damaged facility. This complex emergency scenario (i.e. collapsed building and fire) necessitates cooperation between multiple agencies. As the fire incident might get out of control, the available manpower of First Responders has to be distributed carefully in the affected area to conduct SAR operations, and control and distinguish the fire.
Through this pilot, we plan to:
- Access the deployment time of 5G portable telecommunication systems.
- Validate that the infrastructure can be deployed simply and autonomously at any location and environmental condition, e.g., without the need of specialized technicians.
- Ensure the simultaneous operation of voice and high-quality video calls at high quality for mission critical services, for at least a specific duration of time.
- Validate the support from the broadband network of the simultaneous operation of many data-rich services, e.g., Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, etc.
- Test 5G network coverage at both indoor and outdoor locations, and if it offers the requested capacity in cases of congestions, e.g., many of First Responders gathered around a ROI.