China Unicom partners with Ericsson to develop 5G smart harbour in Qingdao

China Unicom, the world’s fourth-largest mobile provider by subscribers, has partnered with Swedish telecoms and networking specialist Ericsson to develop a 5G smart harbour at the Port of Qingdao, China.

In an Ericsson press release, the firms jointly announced that the progress with the project follows a technical solution verification at the port, and that the smart harbour stands to cut 70% of labour costs with application of 5G automation technologies.

The already fully-automated harbour at Port of Qingdao, one of the world’s top ten busiest ports, is Asia’s first and has been in operation since 2017.

5G, with its 1GB/s potential, stands to significantly accelerate autonomous communications at the harbour.

“We would like to cooperate with major 5G equipment suppliers and leading industrial equipment suppliers to create differentiated value to enterprise customers,” said Zhang Yong, General Manager of the China Unicom Research Institute, in the press release.


“The Qingdao 5G smart harbour project is a pilot of 5G industrial cooperation and we expect fruitful outcomes both in 5G network solutions and business aspects.”

Chris Houghton, SVP and Head of Market Area North East Asia at Ericsson, added:

“Ericsson is glad to partner with China Unicom in developing industrial service opportunities. In the Qingdao 5G smart harbour project, we successfully showcased various 5G network capabilities, such as mili-second level end-to-end latency at Gbps level speed. 

“This 5G smart harbour solution is not only applicable to the Port of Qingdao but can also be replicated with many other harbours and industries.”


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