According to a report by analyst SNS Telecom & IT, between 2022 and 2025, the public safety broadband communications sector will see a steady increase in cumulative spending on rapidly deployable network resources based not only on 5G technology, but also on LTE and 5G .
that of the analyst LTE and 5G Public Safety Market: 2022-2030 – Opportunities, Challenges, Strategies and Forecasts forecasts that these expenses will exceed $700 million during the study period.
Looking at market drivers, the study found that Cells on Wheels (COWs), Cells on Light Trucks (COLTs) and other deployable LTE network resources have played a critical role in facilitating mission-critical communications and real-time transmission of video footage and enhanced Situational awareness for incident command and emergency response. One example cited in the survey was the mobilization of AT&T’s FirstNet Deployables during the 2021 and 2022 US wildfire season.
SNS Telecom & IT said that portable network systems with 5G NR are also emerging. It highlighted Verizon Communications’ launch of Thor’s Hammer, a nearly 30-foot trailer that can act as a locally managed private 5G network – operating in the C-band and mmWave spectrum – to provide coverage in areas where network connectivity and coverage may be difficult or where natural disasters such as earthquakes or hurricanes have damaged existing infrastructure.
In a project led by the US Defense Innovation Unit, the California National Guard is trialling rapidly deployable 5G private network equipment — using the 3.5 GHz CBRS band — to provide reliable ad-hoc data and voice services for civil and military emergency response provide teams operating throughout California.
Looking globally, the report found that China’s Lishui Municipal Emergency Management Bureau is using private 5G slicing over China Mobile’s network to deploy portable cellular sites and rapidly deployable communications vehicles as part of a disaster management and visualization system.
And in Taiwan, the Hsinchu City Fire Department was selected for its deployment of an emergency response vehicle that can quickly deploy to disaster areas to establish high-bandwidth, low-latency emergency communications over a private 5G network with satellite feedback based on Open RAN standards.
Several first responders in Germany are also evaluating the use of portable, non-public networks — operating in the licensed 3.7-3.8 GHz spectrum for local areas — to allow responders to communicate with each other and unmanned firefighting vehicles, Control recon robots and drones.
A more recent case study cited in the study was the partnership between Telenor, Intel and Norway’s Air Ambulance, which demonstrated the deployment of a proof-of-concept platform for 5G networks on wheels (NOW) in a disaster scenario. The demonstration showed how a transportable private 5G network can give first responders better situational awareness based on artificial intelligence-processed videos of the disaster scene transmitted by 5G-equipped drones.