The GSMA-backed Nokia drone solution will be used by the Philippine Red Cross for its disaster response efforts and operate on the frequencies of Smart
PLDT wireless unit Smart Communications and Nokia are today presenting drones and network solutions that will help boost the disaster response efforts of the Philippine Red Cross (PRC).
The drone solution, which will operate on Smart’s frequencies, is part of Nokia Saving Lives (NSL), a program that aims to provide communications technology and technical assistance to emergency response teams.
“This collaboration with the PRC and Nokia underscores our commitment to use technology for good and enhance our capabilities, mechanisms and partnerships toward a shared goal—that is strengthening disaster response, mitigating risks, and saving more lives,” said PLDT and Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto.
The Nokia Saving Lives solution includes drones, a portable rescue application center, a private mobile broadband network, and applications like video streaming, mapping and analytics.
The drones are equipped with cameras, and speakers that can capture information on disaster areas in real time, and it can also carry items such as first aid kits. The portable rescue application center, meanwhile, is a computing and storage unit that can be used for immediate data analysis.
Christina Cabrera, head of Nokia Technology Center Philippines, said: “We are happy to be part of this collaboration in support of the local community. We should always remember that the aim of technology is to do good for people. Nokia Saving Lives is a great example of how to use advanced technology like our drones solution exactly for that. But that is not all, we have many skilled engineers involved, who have invested time and effort to become volunteers and work alongside PRC personnel.”
With Smart’s high-speed LTE connectivity based on the portable Nokia Ultra Compact Network, the system can create secure communication between drones, other equipment, and rescue team members.
These solutions can help PRC personnel analyze needs and gaps, enabling it to provide emergency assistance to communities in timely, effective and efficient ways.
“This drone and network solution can help us gather accurate and up-to-date data on the status of lifelines in disaster situations. This in turn can provide us with information vital in the implementation of rescue and assistance to the affected areas,” said PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla.
Representatives of the three organizations are gracing the event, led by PRC Secretary General Elizabeth Zavalla, PLDT-Smart public affairs head Ramon R. Isberto and regional field operations head Alvin Ilano, and Nokia Technology Center Philippines head Christina Cabrera and Country Senior Office Philippines Nicolas Bouverot, at the PRC Logistics and Training Center in Subic Bay.
The Nokia Saving Lives project has received support from global mobile group GSMA. Earlier this year, GSMA selected NSL as a grantee of its Disaster Response Innovation Fund.
Smart is one of the three founding signatories of the GSMA Humanitarian Connectivity Charter. The charter aims to provide increased access to communication and information for those affected by calamities, helping reduce loss of lives and contributing to humanitarian response.
Smart’s support to the PRC and its commitment to GSMA HCC are part of the company’s #SafePH advocacy, which aims to help build resilient communities and reduce disaster-related casualties through communications technology.