Biggest 5G port trial in UK unveiled

Port of Felixstowe The 5G project at the Port of Felixstowe will test the potential of 5G across two use cases. Photo: Hutchison Ports

One UK port is set to become the largest port in the UK to deploy 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) to enhance productivity, efficiency and safety across its core operations.

Using a 5G Private Network installed by Three UK, the installation at Hutchison Ports’ Port of Felixstowe has been selected as part of the Government’s 5G Trials and Testbeds Programme to drive investment and innovation in 5G and to support the development of new use cases and commercial deployment. The GB£3.4m port project has received GB£1.6m from the Government as part of 5G Create.

Chris Lewis, chief executive officer at Hutchison Ports UK, said: “We are delighted to be part of this exciting 5G Create programme. 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.”

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.  Harnessing the speed, low-latency and high-capacity of 5G, the project will demonstrate the productivity and efficiency gains of such technology, whilst reducing unplanned outage.

The Port of Felixstowe, together with Hutchison Ports’ Harwich International Port, is part of the Freeport East project team to create a major Freeport centred on the two East coast ports. The 5G trial will help deliver on the government’s objective for Freeports to act as hotbeds for innovation.

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