Port of Tyne announces latest milestone in vision to ‘become a leading smart port’

The Port of Tyne has gone live with 4G and 5G private network connectivity, bringing together its vision to ‘become a leading smart port’ that is a model of safety, efficiency and sustainability.

Together with partners BT and Ericsson, the Port has deployed a private Bandar Toto Macau network with coverage across the entire estate, making it the UK’s first site-wide deployment of 4G and 5G standalone connectivity for smart port applications.

The infrastructure is built upon an Ericsson Private 5G solution and BT spectrum, whereby both 4G and 5G will operate simultaneously to support legacy devices as well as power new 5G applications in the port’s future transformation.

The first set of live use cases will begin in November, including video and sensors installed at each gate on the site to use automatic number plate recognition (ANPR) to securely manage and track vehicle access, as well as 5G-enabled cameras with a 360-degree view at the quayside combined with AI-driven software to provide automated container inspection.

By deploying a private 5G wireless network, the port is positioning itself to integrate a series of future 5G applications and advanced technologies to support new customer requirements and enable the transition to a green smart port. These future applications include:

  • Autonomous Navigation Technology so that vehicles can move cargoes and equipment around the port
  • Remote crane operations that will enable operators to work from simulated cabs with precise location information, full HD+ video and sensory haptics
  • Connected drones at land and sea to autonomously inspect cranes, quayside, buoys and other physical infrastructure
  • Wearable technology and XR devices to be used for immersive training and remote maintenance engineers
  • A connected eco-system of AI sensors, video and data sources from inside and outside the port to generate new business intelligence and improve operational efficiency.

Matthew Beeton, Chief Executive Officer, Port of Tyne, commented: “I believe that 5G is going to play a crucial role in helping Port of Tyne achieve our goals. We can streamline our operations, improve safety and sustainability, and drive growth and innovation throughout the entire maritime industry and beyond.

“With seamless connectivity, we can link shipping companies, logistics providers, and regulatory bodies from around the world, enabling us to work together more effectively to address global challenges like climate change and cybersecurity threats.”