Hutchison Ports Port of Felixstowe is about to deploy 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) as part of the UK Government’s 5G Trials and Testbeds Programme.
The Port of Felixtowe will be the largest UK port to deploy the technology as it eyes the opportunity to enhance productivity, efficiency and safety across its core operations.
The port will use the 5G Private Network installed by Three UK.
The £3.4 million project has received £1.6 million from the government as part of 5G Create, a competition to support innovators exploring new uses for 5G to improve people’s lives and boost British businesses.
Working with its partners Three UK, Cambridge University and Blue Mesh Solutions, along with key subcontractors Ericsson and Siemens, the project will test the potential of 5G across two use cases: enabling remote-controlled cranes via the transmission of CCTV and; deploying Internet of Things sensors and Artificial Intelligence to optimise the predicative maintenance cycle of Felixstowe’s 31 quay-side and 82 yard cranes.
“We want to unlock 5G’s potential to revolutionise a wide range of UK industries and 5G Ports is just one project the government is backing to achieve this,” Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure said.
“Our ports will be more vital than ever as we forge an ambitious new global trading position for the UK post-Brexit, so I’m eager to see what 5G can do to maximise efficiency at Britain’s biggest and busiest container port in Felixstowe.”
“Being the largest UK port to introduce 5G technology will allow the Port of Felixstowe to deploy innovative technologies to boost efficiency and improve safety for our workforce. It ties in well with Government policy to create a network of Freeports to act as hotbeds for innovation and to act as hubs for global trade,” Chris Lewis, Chief Executive Officer Hutchison Ports UK, added.
Dr Ajith Parlikad, Reader in Asset Management at Cambridge University, said this was a fantastic opportunity to explore the advances in Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 5G, and advanced machine learning and artificial intelligence to radically transform the way in which assets are managed and maintained in a complex industrial environment.
“Connecting IoT sensors into high speed, low latency 5G networks creates a new paradigm for automation and fast decision making,” Richard Brooks – Managing Director and CTO of Blue Mesh Solutions said.
“5G telecommunications infrastructure needs large industry partners, but the creation of new IoT devices and solutions can be commercially exploited by small fast-moving innovative businesses such as Blue Mesh Solutions.“