The 5G-LOGINNOV project organised two workshops recently, inviting stakeholders to discuss the development of European 5G policies. The first workshop, in March, brought together 5G-PPP experts, while the second workshop, in May, was a gathering of experts from etp-ALICE, CCAM Partnership, and DTLF. The workshops aimed to generate policy recommendations that address open points and deliver value-added results impacting the market, transforming companies’ operations, and shaping future EU policies and regulations.

The workshops centred on demonstrating 5G-LOGINNOV’s impact on innovations in EU ports/city ports/hinterland areas and environments. The cross-sectorial nature of 5G technologies and services has implications for EU policies. Lessons learnt and recommendations from 5G-LOGINNOV can inform policies addressing climate neutrality, pollution, congestion, free movement of goods, internal security, new 5G IoT technologies, and the digital transformation of logistics chains and data sharing in logistics ecosystems.

The activity of 5G-LOGINNOV reflects the efforts of the European Commission’s 5G Action Plan, a strategic initiative to make 5G widely available across the EU. According to it, 5G networks will be crucial for Europe’s global competitiveness, with expected revenues of €225 billion annually by 2025. The plan includes measures such as coordinated deployment, provisional spectrum availability, early deployment in urban areas, and multi-stakeholder trials.

“5G-LOGINNOV is a prime example of how to design an innovative framework addressing integration and validation of CAD/CAM technologies related to the ports/port-cities by creating new business opportunities for the logistics value chain,” said Dr Eusebiu Catana, the project coordinator. “5G-LOGINNOV supports the port applications by implementing 5G technological blocks, including the new generation of 5G terminals notably for future Connected and Automated Mobility, new types of Internet of Things 5G devices, data analytics, next-generation traffic management and emerging 5G networks in order to handle the upcoming and future capacity, traffic, efficiency and environmental challenges,” adds Dr Catana.

Challenges to overcome

During the workshops, participants focused their discussions on various areas of concern, including legacy infrastructure compatibility and data availability, availability of chipset and industrial-grade equipment, supply chain enhancement, assignment of frequency bands for private networks, policies and regulations on cybersecurity, and ensuring low latency in commercial networks. These technical gaps compound the existing infrastructure and installation challenges, including the compatibility of port infrastructure with 5G hardware components, the absence of regulatory policies for private network equipment, and the reliance on legacy Wi-Fi-based networks. Additionally, high equipment costs challenge the widespread adoption of 5G solutions. Participants also highlighted administrative challenges, regulatory gaps, and cybersecurity concerns. The absence of a central authority often leads to one-to-one agreements among selected stakeholders, making it necessary to have multilateral discussions to negotiate the development of technical interfaces.

Presenting solutions

The impacts of 5G-LOGINNOV are far-reaching, affecting different stakeholders in various ways. Network and telecom operators, as well as business-logistics hub management, have the opportunity to identify and assess new relationships between stakeholders, leading to new partnerships and innovative ecosystems. This enables them to enhance the value of third-party services and develop new solutions for port operations and logistics. Simultaneously, SMEs and start-ups can customise their portfolio of 5G products and services to identify real market opportunities, especially in target niches. The introduction of 5G technology also creates training and expertise opportunities, including the need for deployment and operations best practices, references, and a skilled workforce.

Collaboration with relevant stakeholders and 5G-PPP bodies allows 5G-LOGINNOV to advance 5G core technologies and innovative services for smart ports and logistics. By addressing the identified gaps and formulating common recommendations, 5G-LOGINNOV aims to engage relevant stakeholders, facilitate transferability, and promote the deployment of 5G innovations within EU ports.