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NEC provides 5G base station to test advanced ambulance transportation solution utilizing 5G

Tokyo, March 29, 2019 – NEC Corporation today announced that it contributed to an ambulance transportation solution test utilizing 5G carried out by NTT DOCOMO, INC., Maebashi City, The Organization for the Promotion of ICT Community development and Common Platform, Maebashi Red Cross Hospital, Maebashi City Fire Department and Maebashi Institute of Technology through the provision of a mobile environment using a 5G base station that supports 28GHz band and 5G mobile station communications.  

This test was led by NTT DOCOMO and conducted near the Maebashi City Office on February 15, 2019. The Maebashi City Fire Department and Maebashi Red Cross Hospital coordinated a scenario simulating the transportation and appropriate treatment of a patient injured in a traffic accident. The simulation transmitted video via 5G to an ambulance transportation support system developed by Maebashi Institute of Technology that currently uses 4G. This system manages the personal data of patients, including family doctor, emergency contact information, past and present medical history and medication information.

Based on the scenario, NEC constructed a high-speed, large-capacity communication route using 5G by installing a 5G base station on the twelfth floor of the Maebashi City Office, which was regarded as a designated emergency hospital, to establish communications with an ambulance simulating the transportation of a patient, and another vehicle used to transport a doctor (doctor car).

As the ambulance transported the patient to a meeting point with the doctor car, the patient's information, which was obtained from the ambulance transportation support system, was transmitted to both the doctor car and the designated emergency hospital. Then, video of the patient's condition taken with 4K cameras, and high-definition diagnostic images, including ultrasound images, blood pressure and heart rate graphs, were transmitted via 5G to the doctor car and the designated hospital. This enabled high-definition images to be shared in real time among doctors at the designated hospital, an ambulance emergency crew, and an emergency doctor in the doctor car, making it possible to provide the patient with appropriate treatment while in an ambulance.

Larger viewOutline of 5G transmissions

5G mobile station antenna installed on an ambulance

Until now, conversation was the primary way to share information during the emergency transportation of a patient. This introduction of 5G technologies enables the transmission of high-definition video and a variety of sophisticated information, making it possible to effectively use transportation time to learn about a patient's needs, and to significantly shorten the time required to provide potentially life-saving treatment once arriving at a hospital.

The 5G base station supporting 28GHz that NEC provided for this test uses a bandwidth of 700 MHz, achieves a downlink transmission rate of 740 Mbps and an uplink transmission rate of 240 Mbps. This allows multiple high-definition images to be transmitted from multiple mobile stations at the same time. In addition, a beamforming function and a beam tracking function installed in both the 5G base station and the 5G mobile stations enabled stable 5G communications in a mobile environment.

"NEC is excited to continue developing these base station systems that enable high-speed, large-capacity, and ultra-low latency, as we move closer to commercializing 5G technologies," said Katsumi Tanoue, Deputy General Manager, Wireless Access Solutions Division, NEC Corporation. "NEC's cooperation with telecommunications carriers and a wide range of partners will enable us to contribute to the creation of new services that utilize 5G and contribute to society, such as solutions for advanced emergency transportation," he added.

This test is part of a trial conducted by NTT DOCOMO under a project commissioned by Japan's Ministry of Internal Affairs and Communications (MIC) in FY2018 to examine the technical specifications for fifth generation mobile communication systems that can realize average data communication speeds of 4-8 Gbps in an outdoor environment.


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