China Unicom and Huawei jointly released industry-first “5G Edge-Cloud Smart Port Solution” at the China Unicom Partner Conference & Communication Terminal Fair.
This solution provides a fully connected wireless network for smart ports. It is now ready for large-scale commercial use and is already being used in many large ports of pilot cities for China Unicom Edge-Cloud Solution in China.
Zhu Changbo, Deputy Director of China Unicom Institute of Networking Technology, presented specifically the service scenario of 5G Edge-Cloud Smart Port Solution. He said, “In a busy port, where tens of thousands of containers, transportation equipment, instruments, and personnel frequently exchanged data with each other through wireless networks. This solution made the automated port operations efficient and orderly. With thousands of cameras monitoring every corner of the port in real time, employees were able to inspect their operations through their hand-held mobile terminals. Before the deployment of edge cloud solution, network latency wildly fluctuated and video playback often stalled, severely affecting work efficiency. However, after utilizing the 5G Edge-Cloud solution, video data is now distributed locally, so delays are significantly reduced and video playback is much smoother.”
In traditional wireless communication networks, core network gateways are deployed at the provincial central node. Both access to the cloud computing center and local communications require a core network gateway. Therefore, the transmission path is long and low latency cannot be ensured. On the other hand, the MEC solution with its cloud-based distributed core network, deploys the distributed gateway at the edge cloud near the port. In addition to being able to guarantee low latency, this solution can integrate third-party applications related to video optimization, firewall, and IoT platform. Also, the cloud computing center of the smart port is moved to the edge cloud, greatly improving user experience and data security.
The key to smart ports is building a fully connected wireless network, realizing comprehensive awareness of port transport elements, and implementing automatic scheduling. The automated port control center and operators can perform operations such as video security monitoring, real-time data collection and disposal by using mobile terminals. These operations require a reliable low-latency network with real-time access to cloud data, and a system with high-level information security protection, where the 5G Edge-Cloud Solution can play an important part.
China has 7 of the top 10 global ports with the largest cargo throughput. With the upcoming of the 5G era, smart ports will definitely be a promising vertical market. In early 2017, Ministry of Transport of the People’s Republic of China launched the “Smart Port” Demonstration Project. The 5G Edge-Cloud Solution has already provided network support for multiple demonstration projects.