Deutsche Telekom, Nokia proclaim 5G slicing for industrial IoT after Hamburg port tests
The Hamburg Port Authority (HPA), Deutsche Telekom and Nokia have completed an 18-month field test of 5G slicing and industrial IoT at the Port of Hamburg.
The Port of Hamburg is ready to automate various port operations with 5G as soon as the networks go live, said HPA. The project serves as a blueprint for the industrial use of 5G technology, said Nokia.
Deutsche Telekom said the experiment has proved operators of public networks can serve the industrial space with ‘campus networks’ hived-off of their everyday network setups. Future 5G coverage in the port will be provided by mobile network operators, said Deutsche Telekom.
The tests at the ‘smart sea port’ in Hamburg, running on an 8,000-hectare site between January 2018 and June 2019, covered one strand of the European Union’s two-part 5G-MoNArch (5G mobile network architecture) project to test diverse services, use cases, and applications for 5G.
The so-called ‘touristic city’ in Turin, in Italy, has formed the other part of the 5G-MoNArch remit. While the test field in Hamburg focuses on the integration of 5G into traffic and infrastructure control, the Turin project deals with multimedia applications.
The European Union is funding 5G-MoNArch as part of its Horizon 2020 research funding regime, as a phase-two project in its 5G Infrastructure Public Private Partnership.
The twin sites have seen testing of 5G inter-slice control and cross-domain management, using a native cloud protocol stack. Specifically, the Hamburg trials have explored the different network slices for different applications with different characteristics.
“The project partners were able to demonstrate that complex industrial applications with diverging requirements can reliably work over a common physical infrastructure,” said Deutsche Telekom in a statement.
Deutsche Telekom described a number of uses, including a rapidly instantiated priority circuit for emergency services in the port area during a storm surge. It also outlined testing of three cases with different network requirements. Deutsche Telekom escribes the trio as follows.
1 | Environmental monitoring (sensors)
“Partners installed sensors on three ships from the HPA subsidiary Flotte Hamburg. These sensors enable the real-time monitoring and analysis of motion and environmental data from large parts of the port area.”
2 | Traffic control (analytics)
“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.”
3 | Maintenance support (augmented reality)
“With the help of the new 5G standard, 3D information is transmitted to an augmented reality application. The 3D glasses allow maintenance teams on site – for example on a construction site – to call up additional information such as building data or receive remote interactive support from an expert.”
Hendrik Roreger, project manager for HPA, commented: “We have gained valuable experience, which we have also shared with the port industry and other partners at several events. That was very important to us right from the start. Thanks to the experience gained, we now have a clear technological advantage in the Port of Hamburg. When 5G officially starts, we would be ready to implement even complex applications here.”
Antje Williams, senior vice president of 5G campus networks at Deutsche Telekom, said: “The research project has shown that with 5G, we can best adapt our network to the customer’s requirements. 5G is the intelligent network of the future. Industry and the logistics sector in particular will benefit from 5G as a strong lever for a variety of applications.”
Christoph Schmelz, research project manager and coordinator of the 5G-MoNArch project for Nokia, said: “The project in the Port of Hamburg serves as a blueprint for the industrial use of 5G technology. We were able to show in a real-world environment that mobile networks can be quickly and flexibly adapted to the needs of industrial users thanks to network slicing.”