Border checks are becoming more stringent with increasing regulation and potential fines. Delays are also expensive. Inefficiencies can result in shipment delays that incur demurrage and detention charges. These can accrue up to 20 times the value of the container itself.
Automation is key for ports to become more efficient, competitive and sustainable. The first step to implement automation is to determine what wireless technology should be the backbone of the network. The root of automation is the need for huge volumes of timely data, used to control and monitor all of the moving assets. The wireless technology chosen must provide that data reliably, cost-effectively and securely.
5G NR-U, defined by 3GPP in Release 16, enables the advanced features of 5G to operate in global unlicensed spectrum such as 5 GHz. It combines the high performance and security benefits of 5G with the simplicity and low cost associated with Wi-Fi, meeting the needs of ports looking to deploy their own private network to automate their site.
5G private networks overcome the wireless connectivity challenges in large ports where a signal can be blocked by complex surroundings, including containers, cranes or trucks. 5G private networks deployed in unlicensed or locally licensed spectrum deliver the benefits of cellular technology, including high performance, built-in security and mobility, when compared to other wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi. 5G supports latencies required for real-time operation of vehicles – no more than 30ms, and it allows port authorities to extend coverage across the entire port, both indoors and outdoors including moving machines.
Beecham Research, on behalf of MFA, conducted a study that confirms 5G Private Networks (5G PNs) operating in unlicensed spectrum now offers significant opportunities for port automation in the Maritime sector. The whitepaper, 5G Private Networks for Maritime Use: Opportunities for Digital Port Automation, details the challenges ports face today, the benefits of automation and explains why 5G private networks are the best answer. It is a necessary read for the port industry and available for free download on the MFA website.
MFA is an international organization that is championing the global industry adoption of private cellular networks using MFA-defined MulteFire® specifications for LTE and Uni5GTM Technology Blueprints for 5G.
Uni5G Technology Blueprints will help enterprises and industry verticals select and implement the key features from the 3GPP standards that are relevant to their specific private network deployment. The first Uni5G Technology Blueprint will be available in Q4 2021. With Uni5G, enterprises can efficiently deploy their own optimized, reliable and secure private network in unlicensed, shared, or locally licensed spectrum. For more information or to join the MFA, visit www.mfa-tech.org.
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