Back in 2019, Huawei and Shanghai Zhenhua Heavy Industries Company (ZPMC) launched the '5G Smart Port White Paper', in which they described the potential of 5G in ports, noting that the first version of the international standard for 5G should have been completed by March 2020.
Overall, according to the '5G Smart Port White Paper', smart ports require communications systems to support low latency, high bandwidth, and high reliability communication services in order to handle control data and multi-channel video data of port equipment.
5G's high data rate, massive connectivity, and low latency mean that it can meet the requirements of the future Internet of Everything (IoE) and promote the development of industrial capacities. In terms of high data rate, Enhanced Mobile Broadband (eMBB) can reach a peak rate of 10 Gbps with an average throughput of hundreds of Mbps.
The report highlights that the benefits are 10 to 100 times greater than those of 4G. Release 15, as the basic version of the 5G standard, will first enable eMBB applications. In Release 16, URLLC and mMTC will be introduced to comprehensively enable the digital construction of industries.
The option for port private networks provides different requirements in terms of capacity, coverage, and latency for different service scenarios. Also in some cases, local breakout is required to keep data within a port network. To meet these requirements, a concept of Mobile Private Network including two network architecture options is proposed: hybrid network and standalone network.
On the other hand, for the option of a hybrid network, a dedicated Radio Access Network (RAN) and Multi-access Edge computing (MEC) are deployed inside a port. Network control plane functions are carried out in public networks. All data plane traffic can either be terminated locally in a port or sent to public networks if required.
The digitalization of the shipping industry, calls for the construction and management of smart ports to the port industry.
The report notes that
"Remote control of RTG cranes is only an initial attempt at 5G application in the industry. 5G will promote the all-around automation of traditional terminals, create new applications, and improve production efficiency."