Nokia and Industry 4.0 country-mates seed private LTE/5G testbed for cargo ports
Three Finnish industrial-change specialists, including telecoms vendor Nokia, have banded together on a collaboration project to construct a private LTE test network for developing industrial IoT applications for shipping ports and terminals.
Private networking specialist Ukkoverkot and port machinery maker Kalmar, owned by port automation specialist Cargotec, itself a spin-out company from Kone Corporation, have signed a two-year deal with Nokia to design, build and operate a private LTE network using Nokia’s digital automation platform.
Cargo handling equipment from Kalmar will be connected and managed using Nokia LTE and 5G hardware in private spectrum owned by Ukkoverkot, which retains both 450 MHz and 2.6 GHz holdings for industrial and public safety networks.
Ukkoverkot has a record in Finland of providing private networks to air and sea ports. Last month, it agreed a deal to lease LTE spectrum from Three Sweden.
Kalmar and Ukkoverkot will manage the experiment, with input from Nokia, to define optimal connectivity-compute settings for various port setups and applications. Nokia cited automation, robotics, machine learning, analytics, and real-time remote monitoring as use cases.
The new private LTE test network, built to mimic real-life terminal environments, will afford low-latency and high-capacity connectivity, augmented with localised edge computing for time-sensitive applications, real-time analytics, and video-based applications such as machine remote control, said Nokia.
These are “key elements of robust digital industrial environments”, it said. IoT communications will be tested and compared with other wireless technologies in the network mock-up.
Pekka Yli-Paunu, director of research at Kalmar, said: “The new 5G-ready LTE solution will be an asset to our business, and we look forward to initiating testing in this digital automation environment. The private LTE network will provide the security and real-time video footage needed for reliable remote control of our operations.
“The digital automation platform with its connectivity and application layers makes it possible for us to test new service products and concepts. That gives us the opportunity to demonstrate to our customers how our new services work, which is particularly valuable.”
Jouko Tuppurainen, director at Ukkoverkot, said: “Kalmar will implement a 5G-ready digital automation platform utilising the 2.6 GHz band. This brings many interesting new business opportunities for digitalisation thanks to the reliability, high capacity, low latency, and security – all characteristics of a private LTE network.”
Stephan Litjens, general manager for Nokia’s digital automation business, said: “Our digital automation platform brings pervasive mobile broadband coverage for terminals, sensors, cameras and other devices for mission and business critical industrial connectivity and digital transformation. Communication is essential for business efficiency and safety in cargo handling, be it between machines or machines and people.”
In April, Nokia and Ukkoverkot signed a four-year deal to bring connectivity, automation, and intelligence to the Port of Kokkola in Finland. The Kokkola network will utilise the local 2.6 GHz radio band, allocated to the port by Ukkoverkot as part of the deal.
The Port of Kokkola is the third largest ‘general’ port in Finland. It is also the third Finnish port to appoint Nokia and Ukkoverkot to deploy a private LTE networking solution on site, after previous deals with the Port of Oulu and Port of HaminaKotka.
Last month, Nokia announced a private LTE network with Chinese auto-maker FAW to spur digital transformation of its industrial machines and processes. The deal covers research into “smart connected cars, industrial IoT, smart manufacturing and digital transformation”, they said. The 5G network will be deployed at FAW’s campus in Changchun, capital of the Jilin province in northeast China.
Nokia is also building private LTE and 5G coverage for the ARENA2036 automotive research factory in Stuttgart, in Germany, in collaboration with members of the German car and manufacturing industries, including Daimler, Bosch and TRUMPF. It will provide full private LTE and 5G coverage for the site, and help to validate various industrial use cases to bring robotics and automation, and higher flexibility to manufacturing setups.
The vendor has also joined with Finnish operator Telia and US chip-maker Intel to run a series of 5G smart factory tests in Finland using a trial 5G radio access network, operating in the 28 GHz frequency band.
Nokia calculates there are around 10 million factories and 50,000 ports and transporyt hubs, globally, that are candidates for private cellular networks.