Philippine Red Cross to employ Nokia Drone Networks solution to aid disaster response

Manila, Philippines – Nokia and mobile operator Smart Communications are collaborating with the Philippine Red Cross (PRC) to bring innovative technology like LTE-connected drones and a portable network into areas struck by disaster. The collaboration was unveiled at an event on November 23 in the PRC logistics and training center in Subic Bay, Philippines, that also served as the inauguration of the non-profit Nokia Saving Lives (NSL) solution, which PRC will now incorporate into their toolkit for demanding search and rescue activities.

The event showcased how the NSL solution integrates into Red Cross teams, and how a high-capacity mobile broadband network combined with drones and on-site computing power effectively supports Red Cross emergency operations. Aerial insights and data analytics improve situational awareness and help the incident commander prioritize resources for people in distress. The demonstration also highlighted how NSL provides a critical communication channel in remote areas where there is no network coverage, or when disaster destroys existing network infrastructure. The collaboration with PRC and Smart is the first deployment of the Nokia Saving Lives concept.

The NSL solution is comprised of a portable LTE network, which connects to drones equipped with cameras, sensors or speakers; a high-performance server; and analytics applications. A team of 25 Nokia employees have been trained to become technical experts to serve as volunteers in the Red Cross organization. In addition to the technical training, these volunteers have thus far contributed 1,000 man-hours to the Red Cross disaster preparedness education in support of Nokia’s commitment to the UN Sustainable Development goals.

Ramon R. Isberto, group head/FVP, Public Affairs, Smart Communications, said: “We are proud to be part of this program that provides support to response teams in times of disaster. As we continue to improve our network to ensure the availability of our services, we also work with partners to develop and support technologies that can ultimately result in better lives for all.” 

Richard J. Gordon, chairman & CEO, the Philippine Red Cross (PRC), said: “With the help of Nokia Saving Lives, the volunteers and the collaboration with Smart we are better equipped to provide emergency assistance to the people of the Philippines in a timely and efficient way.” 

Christina Cabrera, head of  Nokia Technology Center Philippines, said: “With this event we highlight how dedicated industry collaboration can truly leverage technology for humanitarian benefit. In addition to our financial and technological contribution, I’m also particularly proud of our engineers’ expertise and engagement. Likewise, we are grateful to the GSMA Disaster Response Innovation Fund, which has provided partial funding for the Nokia Saving Lives project and helped make this event possible.” 


About Philippine Red Cross

The Philippine Red Cross is a member of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement.

Established in 1947, at present, the PRC provides six major services: National Blood Services, Disaster Management Services, Safety Services, Health Services, Welfare Services and Red Cross Youth. All of them embody the fundamental principles of the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement – humanity, impartiality, neutrality, independence, voluntary service, unity and universality. These values guide and inspire all Red Cross staff and volunteers, to whom being a Red Crosser is more than just a philosophy but a way of life.

About Smart Communications

Smart Communications, Inc. (Smart) is a wholly-owned wireless communications and digital services subsidiary of PLDT, Inc., the Philippines’ leading telecommunications company. Smart serves approximately 95% of the country’s cities and municipalities with its combined 2G, 3G, and 4G LTE network*, providing mobile communications services, high-speed internet connectivity, and access to digital services and content to over 58.7 million Filipinos*, through its commercial brands Smart, TNT, and Sun. Smart also offers satellite communication services under the brand Smart World. (*as of end-June 2017)

As part of PLDT’s massive digital transformation program, Smart has committed to give more than 90% of the population access to its most advanced LTE network by end-2018, in order to support the country’s growing digital economy, as well as provide the best customer experience for an increasingly digital Filipino lifestyle.

About Nokia

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