Latvian mobile innovator LMT has signed a memorandum with the port services provider RIGAS BRIVOSTAS FLOTE (RBF) on developing and deploying 5G innovations for the maritime sector. The memorandum foresees collaboration on creating and testing 5G solutions for ships and ports. The first demonstrations on using the 5G network in ship-to-port and ship-to-ship communication in the Gulf of Riga will be held in 2023.
5G network connectivity holds a massive innovation and digitalization potential for the maritime sector and ports. However, implementing 5G-enabled solutions at sea faces many challenges, notably – ensuring offshore 5G network infrastructure. Thus, the recently signed LMT and RBF memorandum is a significant step toward bringing 5G to sea to improve real-time communication between ships and ports, promote the digitization of port services, and enable the development and use of autonomous solutions in the maritime industry.
“Bringing 5G to the sea is the key to moving towards a connected maritime mobility ecosystem. However, this innovation area lacks action on a global scale due to the infrastructural complexity, which is why this memorandum is not only of local but also of global importance. At LMT, we’ve been widely testing and implementing 5G innovations in smart mobility, public safety and defence, UAVs, and more. Thus, we have vast expertise in using 5G for mobility, and we’re eager to begin developing smart maritime innovations as well,” says Arturs Lindenbergs, Mobility Innovation Lead at LMT.
Deploying 5G connectivity at sea is highly beneficial for ports, as they face various challenges daily – from dealing with changing weather conditions to organizing safe movement of heavy machinery. 5G network connectivity enables faster and more efficient data exchange between ships and the coast, which is crucial in providing port technical services such as depth measurements. Additionally, 5G-enabled sensors and devices can give highly-accurate information on, for example, ships’ whereabouts, making daily port operations more efficient, safe, and sustainable.
Kaspars Ozolins, Chief Executive Officer at RBF, comments:
“This memorandum is a unique opportunity for us to develop and implement digital innovations and significantly improve the competitiveness and efficiency of Latvian ports. With this collaboration on R&D between LMT and RBF, we aim to enable the use of 5G capabilities in the port and the Gulf of Riga and, with time, elsewhere in the Baltic Sea.”
Using 5G capabilities in the maritime sector holds significance from the environmental perspective as well. The 5G network enables collecting data to evaluate, for example, the changing coastlines, the state of coastal seas, and more. 5G-enabled devices can observe and record environmental parameters, providing an accurate and data-based outlook on the current ecological state, crucial for making sustainability-led decisions.
LMT is a leading mobile telecommunications operator, integrator, and IT company in Latvia, currently amongst the world’s most efficient mobile data networks. The company believes the future to be mobile-only and builds pioneering solutions based on cutting-edge wireless technology. LMT is 5G ready – it’s actively working on developing technologies that could be advanced by 5G, such as smart cities, mobility, drone technologies, public safety, and more.
RBF is a capital company of the Freeport of Riga Authority, providing a wide range of port services in Latvian ports. The company owns both a technical fleet and a fleet of ships – icebreakers, hydrographic vessels, pilot vessels, and the first floating drone in Latvia. RBF’s development strategy foresees expanding the company’s services and becoming Latvia’s most technically skilled port services provider.