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BT, Ericsson score private network deal at Port of Tyne

Hot on the heels of forging a partnership with Ericsson to provide commercial 5G private networks for the UK market, BT is to install a new 5G private network and other surveillance and smart technology to enable the Port of Tyne to advance its ambition to become a world-class “smart port”.

The Port of Tyne is one of the UK’s major deep-sea ports – operating in bulk and conventional cargo, car terminals, cruise and ferry, and port-centric logistics and estates. Entirely self-financing, it receives no government funding, is run on a commercial basis and reinvests all profits back into the port for the benefit of all of its stakeholders. During a decade of development, the Port of Tyne has invested more than £130m in diversifying its operations to handle a growing range of commodities.

Building on the port’s in-house capability – the 2050 Maritime Innovation Hub – the Port of Tyne is now implementing a new hybrid fibre, 4G and 5G private network to build a future-proofed digital technology infrastructure. Once live later in 2022, the new private network infrastructure is intended to 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.

Digital transformation is 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.

The Port of Tyne’s technology and innovation team has demonstrated a series of initial and potential use cases. Two of these are recommended for immediate use – the quayside operational optimisation programme and OCR container tracking – with scope to expand 5G coverage for future use cases in years to come.

The port sees the that among the key benefits of implementing 5G is having a connectivity platform upon which other innovative technology can be built for managing remote operations and reducing associated fossil fuel consumption. The low latency network’s faster data processing and responsiveness provides support for autonomous or remote working. ComputerWeekly

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