Trials have been conducted on the Daugava River in Riga, Latvia, to demonstrate the use of 5G connectivity for shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship communications.
Latvian mobile company LMT collaborated with local technical port services provider LVR Fleet on the project, establishing a 5G connection with a ship using a terrestrial network, with the 5G network then passed on from the ship to the end user.
Following the completion of the trial, LMT and LVR Fleet say that they plan to progress to a wide-scale trial of the 5G maritime concept in the Baltic Sea in November 2023.
This larger project would make use of the ‘multi-hop’ principle, allowing the 5G network signal to be passed on from one ship to the next to enable communication farther from shore utilising a vessel-based 5G base station.
“In the near future, maritime 5G networks will allow various innovations, such as autonomous ships or UAV drones for remote control,” said Arturs Lindenbergs, Mobility Innovation Lead at LMT.
“Even though 5G connectivity has already begun to enable the maritime digitalisation ecosystem, it still requires a lot of testing. The Baltic Sea and its region is a suitable space for such trials, and we are eager to embrace this innovation potential.”