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Antwerp tests and develops new private 5G network

Antwerp tests and develops new private 5G network
During a live demonstration, video images were shown via the 5G network from a police combi, a fire truck and a sounding boat from Port of Antwerp.

The Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, the Antwerp Police and the Antwerp Fire Department are developing and testing a private 5G network.

The network, named ‘Minerva’, is currently being developed and tested by technology company iSea in collaboration with Ericsson and aims to help further develop the partners’ existing digital applications as well as to explore new ones.

A private 5G network helps to increase the speed, reliability and security of the port authority, police and fire brigade’s digital applications.

It is not dependent on public providers, which makes it better protected against potential breakdowns as well overload during large events or mass gatherings.

Annick De Ridder, Antwerp port alderman, said: “This 5G trial network with Ericsson technology covers the entire port. It will support our future operations in terms of shipping, safety and ecology.

“But it is also the ideal basis for development of high speed 5G applications for automation, logistics, safety and security. As a port authority, we are taking a pioneering role in the digital transformation of the port ecosystem, laying the foundation for new jobs in the future.”

Minerva will also ensure optimum coverage within the three partners’ operational area, on the basis of end-to-end European technology.

A range of digital applications such as apps, live streaming, drones and other technologies have been developed by the fire brigade along with the police and the port in recent years.

This evolution can be strengthened and accelerated through the faster, safer and more reliable network.

Bart De Wever, Mayor of Antwerp, said: “It is crucial for the city of Antwerp to have mobile networks at its disposal.

“They have an important role as a forward-looking platform for the digitalisation of the port’s multidisciplinary ecosystem and urban emergency services. Minerva can meet the different needs and support applications in their daily operation.”

The network helps Antwerp Police to deploy its various digital applications, such as mobile cameras, in the field and ensures the Fire Department can deal with an emergency situation more efficiently through real-time images and information.

iSea’s CEO Valentijn Vande Keere said: “iSea is excited to see that, thanks to the excellent collaboration between the various partners and services, this pilot project has become a success.

“The project opents up some decent prospects for the growth of local expertise and sustainable entrepreneurship. New jobs will also be made possible by new technologies such as 5G.”