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BT to Build UK’s First 5G Private Network in Belfast Harbour

Tuesday, October 27th, 2020 (11:22 am) - Score 2,088
bt_5g_belfast_harbour

BT has today announced that they will build and manage one of the UK’s “first” live 5G Private Network (5GPN) across Belfast Harbour in Northern Ireland, which will deliver a secure and ultrafast mobile broadband platform to reach the Port’s main operational areas.

The harbour is a key gateway to trade and a significant contributor to the regional economy. Every year, more than 1.75 million people and over half a million freight vehicles arrive and depart through the Port, while 24 million tonnes of goods are managed and carried by ferries, container ships and general cargo vessels.

As such the new network will allow the harbour to improve its operational efficiencies and accelerate its digital transformation through optimising processes across transport, logistics, supply chain and shipping, as well as boosting productivity through the smooth-running of the Port’s operations. Apparently, they also intend to explore how AI, IoT and Connected Autonomous Vehicles can be used to benefit the site.

Gerry McQuade, CEO of BT Enterprise, said:

“Our UK-first 5G trial with Belfast Harbour last year was a powerful illustration of how 5G-led technology can transform port operations, propel the success of local businesses and drive economic growth. Today’s deal with Belfast Harbour will make these benefits a reality, with the creation of a sophisticated digital ecosystem comprising of 5G, AI, IoT and Connected Vehicles. This will act as a springboard for Belfast Harbour to achieve its ambition to be the world’s best regional smart port and an innovation hub for the region.

Ports are fundamental to the UK economy, and Belfast Harbour is responsible for roughly two thirds of Northern Ireland’s trade. With the rising demands on transport and logistics, and the growing need for operations to be safe, secure and sustainable, we’re excited to work with Belfast Harbour as its technology partner, building 5G-led innovations to unlock the productivity benefits for the port and contribute to the region’s green recovery ambitions.”

The new network is expected to go live across large parts of the 2,000-acre site from early 2021 and follows last year’s limited 5G trial in the same area.

Leave a Comment
4 Responses
  1. Avatar Wally says:

    So why does Vodafone claim to have built the UK’s first private 5G network then.

    1. Avatar cdh1981 says:

      To be fair the title is a little click-baity, as it categorically states “first”, but then in the article text says “one of the UK’s “first” “.

      Looking on BT’s site at their “news”, they state “BT to build the UK and Ireland’s first 5G Private Network for ports”, so not “the first” but “the first for ports”.

      Got to love “journalism”.

    2. Avatar Gary says:

      @cdh, like visiting any American museum If you were less aware you would leave there thinking they did the ‘First’ of everything.

  2. Avatar InTheKnow says:

    So wrong on many levels, one of them being it’s not the first
    I know of 2 large sites where they are nearly complete and are designed to capture data from autonomous vehicle testing
    I think BT are at least 12 months behind other 5GPN’s as well, so unless they intend to build and commission it within the next 2 months I doubt they’ll be bragging about it anymore

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