Sichuan is the seismic belt with the most frequent earthquake activity occurs in China. On 8th August 2017, Zhaigou County was hit with a magnitude 7.0 earthquake and recorded 2318 aftershocks in 2 days which caused a significant communications suspension. During the rescue, it is critical to locate survivors and restore external communications within the 72-hour “golden window”. However, the earthquake has triggered flooding and mud-rock flow and destroyed the road, traditional emergency communication vehicles were unable to enter the disaster area.
China Mobile and Huawei, therefore, first time deployed innovative drone-based mobile base station, AirStar in Sichuan and was able to recover the mobile communication network in 50 hours. AirStar delivered 100 km2 coverage to 1,200 local mobile users, and provided a stable communication to emergency workers and those affected. Meanwhile, China Mobile has also set up hotline, and offered unlimited call services, emergency charging and outbound caring.