5G ship-to-ship communication starts from the Gulf of Riga, then somewhere else in the Baltic
Latvian Telco LMT This week announced a partnership with port service provider Rigas Brivostas Float (RBF) to create and deploy Maritime 5G via ship-to-ship communications in the Baltic Sea. The first exhibition of the technology is scheduled for next year in the Gulf of Riga.
RBF is a capital company of Riga Authority Freeport. The business operates a technical fleet of ships and a fleet that serves Latvian ports with everything from icebreakers to hydrographic vessels, pilot vessels and, most recently, floating drones.
“5G network connectivity is a huge innovation and digitization potential for the maritime sector and ports. However, implementing 5G-enabled solutions at sea faces many challenges, in particular – ensuring offshore 5G network infrastructure, “LMT explained in a statement.
Arturs Lindenbergs sees LMT’s Mobility Innovation Lead, Maritime 5G as an outgrowth of the company’s smart mobility leadership in areas such as public safety and defense.
“We have huge expertise in using 5G for mobility and we are also keen to start developing smart maritime innovations,” he said.
The goal is to use marine 5G to improve the efficiency and competitiveness of Latvian ports, said Casparus Ozolins, CEO of RBF.
“Through this R&D collaboration between LMT and RBF, we aim to enable the use of 5G capabilities in ports and in the Gulf of Riga and elsewhere in the Baltic Sea over time,” he said.
LMT chose Nokia earlier this month to enable 5G standalone (SA) core services. LMT is owned by Swedish multinational Telco Telia Company AB. Telia operates local telecom services in Sweden, Finland, Norway, Denmark, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia.
The 5G SA effort marks another milestone in LMT’s network modernization efforts. In April 2021, LMT flipped the switch to Voice over LTE (VoLTE) on its 4G network. The company was testing VoLTE with its 5G customers but made it available to all customers, citing its power efficiency, improved service quality and better scalability for future service. The company said at the time that this was the first carrier to support VoLTE in Latvia.
One month later, LMT announced a rollout of the 5G Fixed Wireless Access (FWA) service in Latvia, which it also claimed for the first time. The service uses routers manufactured by Latvian network equipment manufacturer MikroTik. MikroTik routers have 4 × 4 multiple input / multiple output (MIMO) antenna arrays. It provides users with download speeds of up to 2 Gbps per second and upload speeds of up to 200 megabits per second (Mbps), according to the company. LMT launches 5G FWA service in the Latvian city of Adaji. Telco plans to illuminate other areas with FWA as LMT develops 5G networks.