The first wave of Orange Belgium’s industrial partners include the Port of Antwerp, chemical firm Borealis and polymer manufacturer Covestro.
Orange’s standalone 5G testing network is deployed on the campus, separate from, not built on top of previous generations of networks.
It can support attributes such as network slicing, very low latency and massive IoT in the area around the port of Antwerp.
The partners will develop and test real-life and business-critical applications in an industrial environment, including connected tugboats and ‘smart field operators’.
For instance, the towing process of tugboats will be enhanced by real-time broadcasting of mobile radar images to the control room, sent by high definition, embedded cameras, which can be remotely controlled in real time.
Mission-critical communications support smart field operations by providing a guaranteed priority to enable pre-emptive action to safeguard workers in the case of an alert.
The field operators will receive real time technical information about equipment to be operated or maintained, with images of a digital twin of the infrastructure they’re working on and instant transfer of images from the field.
Another use case is the automated contaminant tracker that sends images of suspect production samples through 5G to a specific user within the cloud for further analysis.
Werner De Laet, Orange Belgium’s Chief Enterprise Officer, said, “So we are absolutely thrilled with the response we have received from the industrial partners within the Port of Antwerp.
“Now that this 5G industrial ecosystem is up and running, we will share its progress with the public by the end of June. As such, even if regulatory and legal changes remain necessary, Orange Belgium will continue to play its role of bold challenger on the business market.”
Erwin Verstraelen, Chief Digital Information & Innovation Officer at Port of Antwerp adds, “Sensors, smart cameras, remote-controlled ships, autonomous vehicles and drones are all innovative technologies with business potential for the wider port area.
“What they all have in common is their need for reliable network connectivity: today 4G, tomorrow 5G. Since 5G is not 4G plus 1, we need to learn in a relevant context. Therefore, the Port of Antwerp welcomes the consortium to leverage our port as an innovation platform where relevant 5G use cases can be tested. This will guarantee fast deployment once regular 5G is available.”
Logistics operator Katoen Natie has already agreed to join in a second wave.
Orange Belgium launched this 5G testing network in Antwerp in late 2019 and it is the country’s first 5G stand-alone architecture network.
Deloitte Belgium will advise the community on shaping and realising the business potential of this 5G innovation hub