How can 5G and IoT can enhance port operations?
Nokia and Deutsche Telekom testing out 5G applications with the Port of Hamburg
Support for massive internet of things (IoT) is one of the three primary 5G use cases–the other two are enhance mobile broadband and mission critical communications. As the telecom industry works to complete the first standalone 5G New Radio specification, operators are the world are working to gain a better understanding of industry-specific applications that can harness low latency, high capacity network capabilities.
In Germany, Deutsche Telekom and vendor Nokia have begun a two-year project to test out how 5G can be used to bring efficiencies to a variety of operational aspects of the Port of Hamburg. The trial covers an 8,000 hectare site and is focused on use cases including traffic light management, processing data from mobile sensors and using virtual reality to monitor vital infrastructure elements, according to the companies.
Another aspect of this test is network slicing, which creates virtual, cross-domain network partitions to support different application-specific service requirements on a single infrastructure. The test is part of the 5G MoNArch (Mobile Network Architecture) initiative, part of the European Union’s Horizon 2020 and including telecom companies, academia and the 5G-PPP.
DT Board Member for Technology and Innovation Claudia Nemat said this test will provide “practical experience. Our goal is understand how we can best adapt our network to customer requirements. The production industry and logistics sector in particular are going to reap the benefits of 5G as a powerful level for many applications.”
“This is about making industrial processes much faster and more flexible,” Peter Merz of Nokia Bell Labs added. “For the first time, all of this is going to be tested under live conditions…the importance of this project cannot be rated highly enough.”
In the port of Rotterdam in the Netherlands, IBM is working with the port authority on a similar digital transformation project. The Dutch port, which currently employs 90,000 people, highlighted that the industry is embarking on its latest innovation journey–connected shipping. Connected ships operate autonomously and communicate with each other to avoid the risk of a collision. The Port of Rotterdam is currently working to host autonomous ships by 2025.
In order to get ready for this, the port is enhancing its 42-kilometer port area with IBM internet of things (IoT) technologies and IBM Cloud.
Through IBM’s IoT solutions, the port of Rotterdam aims to create a digital twin of the port – an exact digital replica of the port’s operations that will mirror all resources at the port of Rotterdam, tracking ship movements, infrastructure, weather, geographical and water depth data with 100% accuracy. “This part of our digitization initiative will help us test out scenarios and better understand how we can improve efficiencies across our operations, while maintaining strict safety standards,” the port said in a statement.
“We process more than 140,000 ships every year and coordinating the berthing of each vessel is a complex task that involves multiple parties and must be executed safely and securely. With a new digital dashboard, we will be able to view the operations of all parties at the same time and increase volume and efficiency of shipped goods that pass through the port.”