5G as an Enabling Technology for Building Smart Ports

This is Tim. Say “hi”, Tim. Today we’ll be following Tim on his adventure in 5G as an enabling technology for building smart
ports. 5G is the fifth generation of cellular network
technology. In 2019, 5G was launched in several countries
around the world such as the United States, United Kingdom, South Korea, Switzerland and more. It is slated to go in widespread commercial
deployment in 2020, and will co-exist with 4G for at least the next decade as older devices
get phased-out. The main benefit of 5G over 4G is that it allows a theoretical peak download speed of up to 20 gigabits per second, which is about 50x faster than 4G LTE. It has end-to-end latency as low as 1 millisecond to support Ultra Reliable Low Latency Communications
(URLLC), while 4G has an average latency of 50ms, It supports massive machine-type communications
(mMTC) to connect a large number of IoT devices while
being power efficient, and it also supports more frequency bands
such as millimeter waves, massive MIMO, 3D beamforming and network slicing. The global economy is supported by ports, as they are responsible for up to 90% of goods being transported all over the
world. With rising demands on logistics and an ever-increasing need for operations
to be sustainable, it is only with the advent of 5G that will allow smart ports to come into being. But what makes 5G so important to the success and backbone for building smart ports? Let’s go through some of the features of
5G that are useful for building smart ports. First, 5G is similar to 4G in that it uses packet switching to deliver packets over
an IP network. In packet switching, a message is broken down into many parts called packets which will then be sent through a link and reassembled at the destination. Voice services are also supported through the use of VoIP (Voice over IP), thereby improving the utilization of the network resources while supporting more users simultaneously. Packet switching is more efficient than circuit switching as it allows a link to be shared by many users without the need to reserve bandwidth. Packets can be rerouted dynamically in case of a busy link or a link failure. It is connectionless as a connection does not have to be established first before transmitting data Circuit switching was last used in 3G networks. It is inefficient as It is connection-oriented, a path between a sender and receiver must be established first The established path cannot be shared by other users as long as it is active The drawback of packet switching is that it introduces queuing delay and packet loss which is apparent with 4G. Queueing delay is the time spent by the packet sitting in a queue waiting to be transmitted onto the link. Packet loss is the failure of one or more transmitted packets to arrive at their destination. In 4G networks, these drawbacks can result in undesirable effects such as: In data, packet loss produces errors. In videoconference environments, it can create jitter. In pure audio communications, such as VoIP, it can cause jitter and frequent gaps in received speech. In the worst cases, packet loss can cause severe mutilation of received data, broken-up images, unintelligible speech or even the complete absence of a received
signal. 5G aims to solve these problems by increasing bandwidth capacity and reducing latency which helps to reduce the traffic intensity, this means that more packets can be transmitted at any given time before significant congestion occurs. As smart ports become increasingly automated through the use of real-time video monitoring systems, remote crane control systems, and container transporting systems, the bandwidth requirement will also increase. 5G is able to meet the demands of smart ports which require low latency and high bandwidth to operate smoothly. To further enhance the operation of smart
port, our solution is to print QR code on all sides of the containers so that it is possible for autonomous vehicles to automatically identify and transport containers through the use of Artificial Intelligence
and Computer Vision. This will streamline the inventory management of the port and reduce the chance of errors, thereby improving the efficiency of the port. Network slicing is another feature of 5G that enables the multiplexing of virtualized and independent logical networks on the same physical network infrastructure. Each network slice is isolated end to end for quality of service (QoS) provisioning. For instance, the network can be sliced into several segments such as video monitoring which requires high
bandwidth, remote crane control systems, and VoIP services which require low latency and high reliability, IoT sensors which are latency-tolerant and require long battery life, and web browsing. Since the slices are isolated, one segment cannot overwhelm the other slices by taking too much resources. Hence congestion can be avoided for important
services. This is needed to ensure that the various
systems on the port can continue to operate without significant interruptions. Furthermore, it allows a more granular level of access
control as each slice can be managed independently. This is an important feature which ensures
that only authorized staff are allowed to access
critical services which may contain sensitive business information. Security is also improved as any cyber-attacks on a slice will not affect the other slices. To overcome the limited coverage of mmWave
spectrum, 5G will rely on highly-dense deployment of low-powered small cells that cover small geographic
areas. Besides that, massive MIMO is also used to increase the
bandwidth capacity by employing large antenna arrays at the base
stations so that a large number of users can be served
simultaneously. 3D beamforming is used to focus the signal at a certain angle which increases the coverage
distance. Since the signal is more concentrated, interference is also reduced. Another feature of 5G is device to device communication, which is similar to peer-to-peer architecture
as devices can communicate with each other directly without a central server. In peer-to-peer architecture, Devices act as both the receiver and sender. As there is no need for a central server, costs can be reduced. It is also highly scalable as new peers can provide service to other peers Our solution is for 5G beacons to be placed on ships so that ships can communicate with other ships without the need of a base station. As devices have a direct connection with each
other, latency can be further reduced. Some possible implementations include an Intelligent Transport System (ITS) which can enhance the automation of ships by transmitting proximity location, weather information, and sea condition to determine the most efficient and safest
route. Furthermore, multi-hop device to device paths can be used to extend the coverage of the
network. This is especially useful when there are ships that are just out of range of the smart port’s base station range, the ships nearer to the port can act as a relay to ships that are out of range. Thus, the smart port can manage and coordinate the traffic flow of the ships more efficiently. Some of the challenges to implement 5G are
its relatively low coverage, which in turn requires many small cells to be installed. Furthermore, 5G is not fully wireless as one may think. In order to support the tremendous bandwidth required by 5G, it is important to have sufficient fiber backbone to support it. That’s all from us, if you have any questions or thoughts, feel free to leave them in the comments section
below and we’ll try our best to answer them. Thanks for watching.

7 thoughts on “5G as an Enabling Technology for Building Smart Ports

  1. For non-commercial users like me, are there any steps to be taken to switch from 4G to 5G once it is available in my area?

  2. Why can’t the real-time video monitoring systems, remote crane control systems, and container transporting systems brought up in the video just rely on cable-based transmission? 5G seems like a premature technology to rely on for such mission-critical features.

  3. As 5G requires many small cell towers to be installed to compensate for its low coverage, will it pose a health hazard to people in general?

  4. One of the limitations of 5G is that 5G is built on a very high frequency spectrum that can be disrupted easily by physical objects such as buildings. As mentioned in the video, this matter can be simply prevented by installing many cell towers within the area. However, it is said that harsh weather conditions can cause attenuation to the signals. If so, how much will this affect the everyday execution of tasks and performance within the port?

  5. According to the video, two of the main benefits of 5G network are 20gbps and 1ms. With such capabilities, would you consider 5G to be at the pinnacle of wireless cellular network?

  6. At 0:45, it is mentioned that 5G network has a very low end-to-end latency. Theoretically, 5G network should be a recipe for more success in the port industry. However, can 4G be modified to achieve the same low end-to-end latency as the 5G? If yes, would 4G network be a better choice for smart port considering the drawbacks of 5G?

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