Nokia has announced that it has completed the first phase of a 5G-ready private wireless network deployment for the Port of Zeebrugge, in Belgium.
By deploying the Nokia Digital Automation Cloud platform, it will provide private wireless connectivity to more than 100 endpoints across the entire port operations. This will enable Zeebrugge to deliver a range of new and enhanced services to improve the port’s operational performance.
Following the deployment of the Nokia private wireless network, Zeebrugge will be able to track, analyze and manage connected devices across multiple port-based applications in real time. The end-to-end, 5G-ready network will also accelerate port innovation and automation with deployment of IoT, autonomous vehicles, augmented reality and drones, Nokia said.
“Introduction of an advanced private wireless network will act as a beacon for our partners to develop and deliver new solutions right across the logistics value chain,” said Rick Goetinck, CEO for the port of Zeebrugge. “Nokia, in close collaboration with local service provider Citymesh, has demonstrated outstanding 5G capabilities during platform deployment, making phase one a complete success.”
The network is now being used for connectivity with tugboats, air pollution detectors, security cameras and quay sensors. Its high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity will also be leveraged during the upcoming construction of a new sea lock and during building and maintenance of offshore wind farms. Phase one has established increased automation in Zeebrugge’s outer port area. Phase two, due for completion in mid-2020, will focus on the inner port, according to the vendor.
“By deploying a Nokia 5G-ready digital automation platform with a private wireless network, the Port of Zeebrugge brings high-performance connectivity and digitalization to enhance safety, accelerate innovation, enable advanced applications and deliver new levels of logistics performance,” said Stephan Litjens, general manager for Nokia Digital Automation.
Several external suppliers have also signed up to the network, which will be used by port-based companies for dispatching, connectivity with straddle carriers, track and trace systems and integrated communications.
“The introduction of a 5G-ready platform at the port of Zeebrugge brings benefits to a wide range of stakeholders across local enterprises, ancillary shipping businesses and government. The port of Zeebrugge is an ultra-modern logistics center that serves European and intercontinental markets, and our investment in hyper fast connectivity can only improve the competitive position of our port,” Goetinck added.
Nokia has partnered with Citymesh to deliver the private wireless network, and it will continue to assist with end-to-end support and network commercialization.
Nokia Digital Automation Cloud is an industrial-grade global digital automation service platform that provides a private wireless network, which is scalable according to needs, the Finnish vendor said.
Last year, Nokia, German carrier Deutsche Telekom and the Hamburg Port Authority tested new features of 5G technology in a test bed installed at the Port of Hamburg.
Three use cases with different network requirements were tested during the trial phase: In the firt use case, the partners installed sensors on three ships from the HPA subsidiary Flotte Hamburg GmbH & Co. KG. These sensors enable the real-time monitoring and analysis of motion and environmental data from large parts of the port area.
In the second use case, the Port Road Management Center of the HPA remotely controls the traffic flows in the port of Hamburg via a traffic light connected to the mobile network. This should help, for example, to guide trucks faster and safer through the port area, the partners said.
The third example tests high bandwidth availability: With the help of 5G technology, 3D information is transmitted to an augmented reality application. The 3D glasses allow maintenance teams on site to call up additional information such as building data or receive remote interactive support from an expert.