Port of Tyne partners with BT to boost “smart port” ambitions via 5G private network

The Port of Tyne is advancing its ambition to become a “world-class smart port’’ after partnering with BT to install a new 5G Private Network and other “cutting-edge” surveillance and smart technology.

The arrival of 5G means the Port and its customers can take full advantage of advanced technology, including robotics and autonomous vehicles, artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) applications.

Building upon the port’s in-house innovation capability, the 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub, the Port of Tyne is implementing a new hybrid fibre, 4G and 5G Private Network to build a future-proofed digital technology infrastructure.

Once live later this year, the new Private Network infrastructure will provide fast and low latency connectivity across the port’s entire estate, opening up the potential for the development and implementation of both established and emerging technology.

BT has been selected as technology partner and will use Ericsson equipment to complete the installation. It follows a multi-million-pound new partnership announced recently by the technology and telecoms firms to provide commercial 5G Private Networks for the UK market, the first agreement of its kind in the country.

Digital transformation is said to be “at the heart” of the Port’s Tyne 2050 strategic plan. Real-time 5G connectivity means commercial information can be captured to enable data-led decision making to drive efficiencies across the business, benefiting customers and the port’s own operations.

Matt Beeton, CEO of the Port of Tyne, commented: “5G is an enabler and offers us huge potential to implement world-class technology applications and drive real progress in the port and maritime sectors.

“We already have a range of use case scenarios developed through the Innovation Hub and are ready to collaborate with technology companies to validate these exciting new solutions.”

Ashish Gupta, MD for corporate and public sector, at BT added: “We are delighted to be providing the Port of Tyne with a hybrid 4G and 5G Private Network and associated surveillance and smart technology, including IoT, that will make a huge difference for the port and its customers.”