Deutsche Telekom implements campus network for the Port of Hamburg
German telco Deutsche Telekom has partnered with HHLA Sky, a subsidiary of Hamburger Hafen und Logistik, to implement a campus network at the Port of Hamburg.
HHLA Sky will use this technology to control and monitor a fleet of industrial drones from a single control center. At HHLA’s terminals, the flying robots inspect container gantry cranes and asphalt surfaces to increase safety on the port site, Deutsche Telekom said.
“At the Port of Hamburg, we are demonstrating how well Internet-of-Things solutions harmonize with the most advanced logistics. In HHLA Sky we have found a partner with whom we are jointly developing our product. Smooth logistics are of particular importance right now. With our innovations, we are making an important contribution to this,” said Hagen Rickmann, responsible for business customers at Telekom Deutschland.
With the joint project, the partners are pursuing the goal of learning more about the special requirements of automated flying robots for mobile communications.
The industrial drones fly through several container terminals in the Port of Hamburg. HHLA Sky uses these drones for various applications such as inspection flights, which replace time-consuming tours, deployments of industrial climbers and as a consequence, long waiting times.
“With the campus network, we can control almost any number of drones even more safely through a sensitive area. In addition, together with Deutsche Telekom we can develop the entire system, i.e. drone and control center, much faster,” said Matthias Gronstedt, managing director of HHLA Sky. “Controlling a fleet of industrial drones is demanding. For this we need: continuous network coverage, high availability, guaranteed bandwidth, and low latency. The campus network, soon with 5G, forms the basis for this.”
The drones currently transmit all data packets with LTE technology, but the network could be rapidly upgraded to 5G technology in the future, the partners said.
HHLA Sky offers a platform for the fleet operation of unmanned aerial systems. The company can control up to 100 drones from a single control center. HHLA Sky also uses its drones itself to monitor special infrastructure. The aircraft are also used in intra-logistics.
HHLA operates three container terminals and other handling facilities in Hamburg. Hamburg has the third largest container port in Europe.
The German federal network agency Bundesnetzagentur has already awarded 123 spectrum licenses for private 5G campus networks.
The Federal Network Agency provides the spectrum in the range 3.7-3.8 GHz for local networks. The frequencies are used in particular for Industry 4.0 applications in the fields of manufacturing, agriculture and forestry.
Some of the companies running campus networks based on 5G frequencies include Audi, BMW Deutsche Messe, Fraunhofer Institut fur Integrierte Schaltungen IIS, Daimler, Mercedez-Benz, Porsche, Rohde & Schwarz and ThyssenKrupp.
In the telecommunications sector, some firms which had obtained licenses to operate private 5G networks are LS Telcom, NTT Data, Telefónica, Deutsche Telekom’s T-Systems as well as Verizon Germany. Huawei Technologies also has a license for its office in Düsseldorf.