Ericsson, China Unicom develop smart harbor in key Chinese port
Both partners have already carried out 5G verification at the Port of Qingdao
BARCELONA-Ericsson and China Unicom said they are currently developing a 5G-enabled smart harbor at the Port of Qingdao in China.
Ericsson said that the announcement follows a technical solution verification at Qingdao and was jointly announced by the partners at Mobile World Congress 2019 in Barcelona, Spain.
One of the key findings of the field trial is up to 70% of labor costs can be saved when a harbor uses the 5G automation upgrade, compared to traditional harbours with a fully automated harbour.
“China Unicom is proactively exploring industrial 5G business opportunities. We would like to cooperate with major 5G equipment suppliers and leading industrial equipment suppliers to create differentiated value to enterprise customers. The Qingdao 5G smart harbor project is a pilot of 5G industrial cooperation and we expect fruitful outcomes both in 5G network solutions and business aspects,” said Zhang Yong, General Manager of the China Unicom Research Institute.
“Delivering revenue for the industry is important for 5G business success. Ericsson is glad to partner with China Unicom in developing industrial service opportunities. In the Qingdao 5G smart harbour project, we successfully showcased various 5G network capabilities, such as mili-second level end-to-end latency at Gbps level speed. This 5G smart harbour solution is not only applicable to the Port of Qingdao but can also be replicated with many other harbours and industries,” Chris Houghton, SVP and Head of Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson, said.
“The Port of Qingdao is among the top 10 busiest ports in the world, processing approximately 19.3 million containers every year. The port has been operating Asia’s first fully-automated harbour since 2017 and will continue to be at the forefront of port innovation by using 5G,” he added.
The partners, in collaboration with global port machinery manufacturer Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries (ZPMC), have completed a six-month 5G smart harbour technical solution verification in late 2018. This includes an automated ship-to-shore (STS) crane that lifted a container over a 5G connection operated from the control center.
The 5G connection included data traffic from more than 30 high-definition cameras as well as control data for a programmable logic controller (PLC). These operations required millisecond-level latency control signals, as well as stable, remote and real-time control.
Following this field trial, Ericsson, China Unicom and other partners have agreed to jointly explore commercial 5G networks and solutions for smart harbours that include both automated harbours and the modernization of traditional harbours.