5G works begin at the Port of Tyne

At Maritime Innovation Week in June 2022, Port of Tyne formally announced our partnership with BT and Ericsson to install a private 5G network at our South Shields site.

BT and their partners met with Port of Tyne experts on the 5th and 6th July to conduct extensive site surveys to establish the optimum locations for the 5G infrastructure.  Being a busy port, finding the ideal location for the antennas can be tricky as we need to make sure we get full coverage, but not disrupt operations or obstruct future land developments.

In order get a bird’s eye view of the port, a fleet of drones were used to create a 3D model of the site which allows us to take exact measurements of building heights and distances, and determine any potential black spots due to building shadow.

Drone technology is developing with pace, and the new range of DJI Mavic’s are phenomenal, the clarity of the imagines and range capabilities are amazing.  We also took the opportunity to test out some new functionality while onsite, and handed over flight control to a pilot in Finland over 2000 miles away!  The ability to pilot a drone from anywhere in the world with near zero latency opens up unlimited possibilities for surveying and investigations.

In tandem with the air surveys, at ground level we undertook a Radio Frequency survey and mapped out the whole site so we understand what existing radio frequencies are in the area which then helps us tune the private 5G deployment. This will be overlaid on to the 3D physical site map and help supplement the decisions around antenna placement to provide the best service coverage.

The next steps on the 5G journey are to meet with the business areas that will be the first to benefit from the new technology, our operations and engineering teams, to agree locations, and start scoping out the use cases for the 5G projects. 

Keep an eye on our blog pages for updates on our journey to 5G.