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The Department of Telecommunications (DoT) is evaluating the potential and practicality of drones and tethered balloons to restore 5G connectivity during emergencies and natural disasters, particularly when traditional telecom services are severely disrupted.

The DoT reportedly plans to conduct trials in the upcoming months to evaluate the effectiveness of this approach, aiming to complete the trials and make a final decision by June next year.

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During emergencies such as natural disasters, setting up new mobile sites can be both challenging and time consuming. Telecom operators often struggle to swiftly restore their networks due to damaged infrastructure and power outages.

The DoT plans to tackle these issues by deploying balloons and drones as interim connectivity solutions. These aerial platforms can be rapidly deployed to affected areas, providing a more flexible and quicker response compared to ground-based setups.

According to reports, the DoT plans to conduct trials in the coming months to evaluate the effectiveness of using balloons and drones for 5G network restoration during emergencies. These trials are set to be completed by June 2025.

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A final decision regarding the broader implementation of this initiative will be made based on the success of these trials, which will be crucial in determining if this approach can be scaled and applied in real-world disaster scenarios.

The DoT has established a dedicated disaster management division tasked with maintaining mobile network connectivity in the event of any disaster or calamity. This division will disseminate timely messages, alerts, and warnings regarding potential disasters to customers throughout the region. The utilization of drones and balloons is viewed as a promising innovation in this context, offering a swift and dependable method for reestablishing connectivity in affected areas.

The use of balloons and drones for network restoration offers several advantages. These aerial platforms can cover extensive areas, providing connectivity to a broad region and offering immediate solutions without the need for extensive ground infrastructure. This flexibility is particularly valuable in remote or hard-to-reach areas where traditional network setups may be impractical. Additionally, drones and balloons can be rapidly deployed, significantly reducing the downtime experienced by affected communities.

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