Take me to the river

Philip Mason looks at two innovative European projects which use 5G and IoT technology to improve efficiency in ports and on the water

One of the key 5G use-cases – at least if the pre-roll-out hype is to be believed – is the role that the technology is anticipated to play in the automation of cars.

As keenly as we anticipate this, however, the road isn’t the only environment in which massively increased bandwidth and infinitesimal latency could provide huge benefits. With that in mind, in this issue of Land Mobile, we’re focusing on two European projects centred around the use of the technology in relation to shipping.

These include a Dutch initiative – currently in the planning stage – which if successful will see semi-automated barges potentially solving the problem of traffic congestion in the country’s major cities. First up though is the Port of Hamburg, which is currently acting as a test-bed, through which is being explored the potential benefits of 5G network slicing.

Test bed royalty
Serving the second-largest city in Germany, the 8,000-hectare Port of Hamburg handles around nine million TEUs (20-foot equivalent units, aka giant shipping containers) a year. These in turn hold in the region of 137 million tonnes of cargo, making the port one of the busiest facilities of its kind in Europe.

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