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Private 5G networks: a solution for connected ports

​​​​Late 2023, CEA-Leti executed a real-scale validation of private 5G network elements capable of offering a data rate of at least 20 Mbps at a 30 km distance. Intended for port operations, it could be adapted to other uses when public networks fail to achieve the required performance.

Published on 28 February 2024

How can cargo port activity become more seamless, how can boat docking times be reduced, and how can polluting emissions be limited? With a long-range, high-speed, wireless communication network. ​

In the future, the network will enable ships to declare their identity, position, speed, cargo contents and volume, etc. well ahead of their arrival. Port authorities will be better equipped to orchestrate maneuvers, appoint docks, thereby minimizing the transit time of ships in ports. Current standard solutions are not addressing these issues, including in terms of reachable ranges.  

A range that is six times greater than that of 5G phone base stations

CEA-Leti has designed such a solution. Late 2023, as part of the France Relance Perf5GMaritime project, it demonstrated a private 5G network with a data rate of 20 Mbps and a range of up to 30 km. In comparison, 4G and 5G networks are unable to exceed 5 km!


“Due to ARCEP* license constraints, the validation process took place in the Grenoble region, rather than by the sea," added Benoit Miscopein, head of the project at CEA-Leti. “This makes it all the more convincing, since Grenoble's peri-urban environment is much less conducive to wave propagation than marine environments, where there are no obstacles or multiple reflections."


A network that was 100% developed by CEA-Leti 

CEA-Leti developed all the components required by the network: the land radio station, stations for ships, and tailored 5G compliant core network software. The network is based on a CEA-Leti patented waveform that facilitates coexistence with mobile phone networks.


“Emission occurs within a band that is contiguous with 4G frequencies, and the land station will inevitably be placed near 4G base stations, which are ubiquitous in cities. This waveform will ensure that we do not disrupt cellular traffic."


Network operator Snef Labs, a partner of Perf5GMaritime based in the Provence-Alpes-Côte d'Azur region, may initially deploy the solution in the port of Marseille. CEA-Leti is currently finalizing aspects such as the network's capacity to transmit signals across contiguous 10 MHz channels.


Other applications: offshore wind turbines and primary industries 

This private network can also serve other industries aside from ports. This might include operating offshore wind farms, to report on machine conditions and on their production of instant and cumulative energy; or industries in uncovered areas, such as mining or smart farming.


“Other applications are no doubt waiting to be explored, concluded Benoit Miscopein. This is the first time that we are developing all the building blocks of a private long-range network for transmitting data at high speeds in areas without a base station." 
*Communications Regulatory Authority

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