Verizon’s business arm has entered a deal to install a private 5G network at a major marine terminal at the Port of Virginia.
Once in place, the 5G Ultra Wideband network is aimed to enable Virginia International Terminals to test and workshop new autonomous over-the-road truck technologies as well as utilize the network for heavy equipment in need of connectivity, the New York City-based telecommunications company said Thursday.
Sowmyanarayan Sampath, CEO of Verizon Business, commented that On Site 5G is a perfect fit for the terminal because seaports’ diverse array of machinery and tools require a private, reliable network.
Sampath additionally noted that On Site 5G will satisfy a range of the port’s network requirements, “from data-intensive, high-bandwidth industrial needs to secure, reliable broadband for everyday business.”
The formation of the 5G network by Verizon Business will replace a WiFi system at the 275 acre container terminal. The experimental autonomous trucks — which are being developed under a U.S. Department of Transportation grant given to VIT — will be heavily dependent on the network, utilizing it to make contact with the terminal for the delivery and receipt of shipping containers.
In 2021, VIT boasted a fiscal year report of two million containers trafficked and $47 billion in gross product for Virginia. Their deal with Verizon Business marks the first U.S. terminal and second large-scale international seaport the company has serviced with a network.
The network that will be deployed at the port, On Site 5G, functions by synthesizing 5G Ultra Wideband small cells with an LTE packet core and sustaining radio signals to create a secure, non-standalone private network. On Site 5G has been introduced to particularly accommodate up-and-coming technologies like Internet-of-Things, artificial intelligence and machine learning and real-time edge compute, among others.
The private network product was first introduced to market in June 2021.