Antwerp digitises port ecosystem

The Port of Antwerp, the City of Antwerp, Antwerp Police and the Antwerp Fire Department are developing and testing a private 5G network as part of a project to digitise the port ecosystem.

The network was named ‘Minerva’. This private network, currently being developed and tested by technology company iSea in collaboration with Ericsson, will allow the three partners to further develop their existing digital applications and to explore new ones.

A private 5G network increases the speed, reliability and security of the port authority, the police and the fire brigade’s digital applications. The network is not dependent on public providers and is thus better protected against potential breakdowns, as well as overload during large events or mass gatherings, for example. Minerva will also ensure optimum coverage within the three partners’ operational area, on the basis of end-to-end European technology.

Annick De Ridder, Port Alderman, commented: “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 the 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 of the future.”

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.”

Valentijn Vande Keere, chief executive officer,iSea, added: “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 opens 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.”

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