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Hamburg port to test 5G

Industrial use cases include traffic lights management, data processing from mobile sensors and virtual reality applications

The Port of Hamburg will provide much-needed practical experience of 5G
The Port of Hamburg will provide much-needed practical experience of 5G

The Hamburg Port Authority is collaborating with Deutsche Telekom and Nokia to test 5G applications at the Port of Hamburg.


Key tests of various aspects of 5G functionality, including network slicing, will be conducted at an 8000-hectare area at the German port to gain knowledge and experience from a ‘real-world’ industrial environment.


5G will be tested with use cases like traffic lights management, data processing from mobile sensors and virtual reality. To provide connectivity, an antenna has already been installed on the Hamburg television tower at a height of more than 150 metres.


As the port is both a logistics hub and a touristic attraction, it provides an environment for testing a variety of use cases that place very different demands on a 5G network.


For example, the port authority wants to use mobile communications to manage traffic lights within the port area, as well as collecting and processing environmental measurement data in real-time. Finally, virtual reality applications can be applied to monitor critical infrastructure such as watergates and construction areas, thus enhancing safety in the port.


The project partners are testing if these services, each of which have specific network demands, are reliably working on just one mobile network infrastructure.


This is made possible by using dedicated virtual networks, known as “network slices”, in the 5G testbed. Each of these supports a specific service: for example, separate virtual networks will be used to control traffic lights and to transmit environmental measurement data.


“This testbed in Hamburg is an important development step along the road to 5G. We need practical experience which we can get in the Port of Hamburg,” said Claudia Nemat, board member for technology and innovation at Deutsche Telekom.


“Our goal is to understand how we can best adapt our network to customer requirements. The production industry and the logistics sector, in particular, are going to reap the benefits of 5G as a powerful lever for many applications.”


The two-year research project -- 5G mobile network architecture (5G MoNArch) for diverse services, use cases, and applications in 5G and beyond) -- aims at turning 5G mobile network architecture concepts into practice.


“5G offers a level of security, reliability and speed never seen before in mobile networks. HPA is opening up completely new use cases,” added Jens Meier, CEO of the Hamburg Port Authority.

“We can start gathering experience of this cutting-edge technology right now and shape the standard. This is going to benefit the whole city of Hamburg, not just the port.”


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