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5G Port Network To Drive Innovation

The Port of Antwerp and Proximus have signed an MoU for ‘The Digital Schelde’ project, which consists of Proximus developing, on the basis of a test license, a mobile network that will be set up specifically for Port of Antwerp. On this network, both partners, in a co-creation mode, will test and evaluate the potential of 5G for different industrial applications

Erwin Verstraelen, chief digital & innovation officer at the Port of Antwerp, said: “The port of Antwerp is particularly rich in potential applications for 5G. That’s why we want to prepare for the advent and roll-out of 5G in the port area.

“Because we’re aware that there’s still a lot to be learnt. Moreover, the partnership with Proximus will allow us to ascertain whether our own fibre network can be a lever for an accelerated deployment.”

During a six-month pilot phase, various concrete applications will be tested that offer a better insight into the possibilities of 5G in an industrial context.

The possible applications are in a variety of areas. “For example, tugboats can be connected with each other and with the port to enable a more efficient coordination of shipping,” said Proximus. “By connecting people and their tools with each other, the advent of a private 5G network will, moreover, provide significant gains in efficiency, for example through wireless camera surveillance or the deployment of drones for security applications or inspections. In the future, self-propelled vehicles in the port area or AR/VR applications for remote training and coaching may be added to that.”

From a technical viewpoint, Proximus and Port of Antwerp will use a non-standalone architecture that fully meets the 3GPP standards in the core of the network. In addition, the 5G network will be connected to the existing MPLS corporate network of Port of Antwerp and will thus become an important enabler for the port authority’s digital transformation.

Proximus ultimately aims to combine the Port of Antwerp’s private network with the public mobile network, which provides coverage throughout Belgium. To develop this project, Proximus is using Nokia’s network equipment.
Source: Port Strategy

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