The Port of Antwerp has signed an agreement with the city government and the Antwerp Fire Department to develop and test a private 5G network.
The network is named ‘Minerva’ and is 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.
The fire brigade, along with the police and the port, have developed a range of digital applications in recent years, such as apps, live streaming, drones and other technologies. Thanks to a faster, safer and more reliable network, this evolution can be strengthened and accelerated. The partners are therefore very satisfied.
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.”
Maarten Torfs, Director of ICT, Antwerp Police, also commented: “Due to the increased digitalisation of the Antwerp Police, we need a safe, reliable and high-performance network for mobile data. This allows us to deploy our various digital applications, such as mobile cameras and the FOCUS app, in the field.
“With this pilot network, we can further develop our existing digital applications and explore new ones.”
Eva Van Gerven, Director of Staff Services and Technology of Antwerp Fire Department, added: “Real-time images and information from crucial apps ensure that we, as fire brigades, can deal with an emergency situation more efficiently. And that immediately during the drive towards the situation.
“This pilot network will further strengthen our digitisation and improve our work in the field.”
Annick De Ridder, 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 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.
Valentijn Vande Keere, CEO of iSea: “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.”