Southampton to be first UK mainland port with its own private 5G

A TELECOMS giant is working with Associated British Ports (ABP) to make Southampton the first mainland UK port with its own private 5G network. Verizon Business will provide a private 5G platform across selected areas in the East and West Docks at the port. ABP says the move will address the problem of poor Wi-Fi leading to the loss of communication at the port – as well as delivering the advanced capabilities of private 5G.

The technology’s reliability, security and speed can help enable new technology such as real time analytics, connected devices known as the Internet of Things and machine learning. It could be used in the near future for autonomous guided vehicles, asset tracking, workflow management, predictive maintenance and safety monitoring. The Port of Southampton is responsible for GBP40billion of exports every year and is the UK’s number one port for cars and cruise, handling around 900,00 cars an welcoming millions of cruise passengers each year.

Verizon Business chief executive Tami Erwin said: “Verizon’s private 5G is the foundation for a completely dedicated edge compute infrastructure, enabling ultra-low latency at the premise, higher levels of security and deeper customization for our partners. “Businesses such as ABP are coming under more pressure to evolve their services at tremendous speeds in order to take advantage of new commercial opportunities. Along with Nokia, we have been able to equip ABP to take advantage of the immediate benefits private 5G offers, and most importantly prepare the Port of Southampton to take full advantage of new technology applications and real-time analytics which will digitally transform its services in the future.”

ABC chief executive Henrik L Pedersen said: “Building flexible and resilient technology platforms to meet our customers’ needs is a key element of our strategy, and becoming the first mainland port operator in the UK to offer a private 5G network to our customers is a fantastic milestone for ABP. “We would like to thank our partners for enabling this project, which will equip our Port in Southampton with the state-of-the-art infrastructure needed to be at the forefront of the digital revolution in the maritime industry.” Verizon Business announced the launch of its international private 5G platform for global enterprises in Europe and Asia-Pacific in October 2020.

The service, delivered in partnership with Nokia, will enable businesses to deploy a private industrial grade dedicated 5G network capability in their premises.