APM Terminals (APMT) Valencia has launched a virtual private LTE network, which uses dedicated radio equipment to service terminals’ applications and services.
The network, provided by Telefonica Spain using the 4G licensed frequency it owns within Spain, is part of a global roll-out and can be tailored for optimised performance such as low latency.
Industrial wireless connectivity is a digital enabler for APMT’s global initiatives such as the standardisation of terminal operating systems (TOS), reporting and support, asset digitalisation and GPS-based position detection systems used for auto-locating containers in a yard.
The Valencia terminal’s existing WiFi network was struggling to reliably handle increased data volumes demanded by this digital transformation, and a complete re-design was therefore needed, noted the operator.
The use of dedicated equipment allows it to be independent of traffic fluctuation in the wider network, it added.
Jack Michael Craig, head of APM Terminals global technical, said: “Stable and reliable industrial wireless infrastructure is critical for all automation and digitisation efforts.
“The foreseeable trend is that the number of applications and use cases requiring wireless capabilities will increase at terminals.”
A dedicated 4G Radio Access Network (RAN) was installed in the terminal yard, integrating it with the existing Core (EPC) part of the public telecom infrastructure.
An end-to-end IPSec Tunnel was used as an encryption mechanism to segregate APMT data from general carrier data to ensure this wireless solution meets the company’s global security requirements.
In contrast to the old WIFI connectivity solution, the new 4G LTE connectivity solution was best suited to the facility due to its ability to meet coverage and performance requirements with bigger cell size and limited infrastructure deployment at terminal, added APMT.
The company praised the solution as “optimised, standardised, cost-effective and security compliant”, while also offering the possibility to scale up if there is growth in terminal requirements.
Customers will benefit from improved data, terminal efficiency and stability, stated the terminal operator.