Rafiek Madani for ENAB
Source: Haven van Zeebrugge
Driven by a clear strategic vision, the Port of Zeebrugge is to invest in a superfast critical communication network. 5G is the key technology that will be revolutionary, especially for industrial uses. The private 5G network in the Port of Zeebrugge will be the accelerator for innovation in and around the port.
The port of Zeebrugge is an ultramodern logistics platform completely at the service of the European and intercontinental markets. The hyperfast reliable connectivity bubble will attribute to the competitive position of the port, the private companies, involved governments, associated interest groups and organizations.
The impact of innovation and 5G technology in the Port of Zeebrugge
The 5G network delivers efficient, fast and optimal connectivity. The network’s brain is located in the port’s datacenter. This keeps all data safe within the port authority’s own network and makes it independent from external influences.
In the first phase, the data network will be used for connectivity with tugboats, air pollution detectors, camera’s and quay sensors. For the new sealock, which is to be constructed in the near future, the high-bandwidth and low-latency connectivity will prove to be an asset.
5G will be deployed at port companies for dispatching, connectivity with straddle carriers, track and trace systems and critical group communication.
The first external users of this network have already signed up. They will utilize the Port of Zeebrugge’s 5G network for communication during the construction and maintenance of offshore wind farms.
The rollout of this 5G network will speed up the innovation and automation in the port. This platform will be an accelerator for IoT, autonomous vessels, augmented reality (AR) and drones.
Phase one, which will be operational by the end of this year, sets course for the use of the 5G network in Zeebrugge’s outer port. The second phase will include the inner port and will be implemented mid 2020.
A digital transformation enabled by Citymesh
The Port of Zeebrugge has partnered with Citymesh. Citymesh will deliver the end to end support and provide the commercial exploitation of the network. Citymesh hereby strengthens its position on the 5G market, where they, as the only operator, establish private 5G networks in close cooperation with technology partner Nokia.
Mitch De Geest, CEO Citymesh: “Citymesh is thrilled to be able to work with the Port of Zeebrugge to build the port of the future. At the levels of continuous security, operational certainty and flexibility, Citymesh 5G offers many possibilities. This decision shows the Port of Zeebrugge is working out a long term vision and is ready to face the challenges in digital transformation.”
Joachim Coens, CEO Port of Zeebrugge: “As a port authority we want to stimulate the private partners in the port to apply the best innovative solutions in every part of the logistics chain. The 5G technology will make this possible. We feel it is important that we act as an initiator and that we can provide this connectivity bubble for our port companies.”