5G on deck

Britain’s biggest and busiest container port has achieved a major milestone with the deployment of 5G technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), provided by Three UK.

Along with consortium members, Three UK, Blue Mesh Solutions and the University of Cambridge, Hutchison Ports-owned Port of Felixstowe successfully implemented 5G as a way to drive efficiency, improve safety and support the UK’s post-Brexit status as a global trading nation.

It’s all part of the ‘5G Testbeds and Trials programme’, run by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), with successful grant recipients from a wide range of UK industries.

Using 5G private networks, the port will be able to reliably control cranes remotely, and use IoT sensors for predictive crane maintenance.

Steve Wylie, Head of Corporate Sales for Three UK, said, The Port of Felixstowe already operates remote control quay cranes and yard cranes. Traditional methods of communicating to CCTV needed for remote control have limitations on bandwidth and flexibility for extension across the port. 5G and its unique low latency and high throughput capabilities make it the optimum technology to power remote control and support the port’s long term growth objectives.”

Six quay cranes are being fitted with IoT sensors to understand the stresses and strains placed on them in day-to-day operations. Cambridge University is also developing an algorithm that will enable the system to detect anomalies in the cranes and alert the operators before the failure happens. With preventive maintenance being the goal, 5G will allow the data to be transmitted in real-time, enabling ‘in the moment’ safety-critical applications.

The project is due to be completed in September 2022. For more information, read the story here.