BT has completed “an innovative, secure and resilient wireless backbone network” for DP World Antwerp, which offers services for containers, at its Antwerp Gateway in Belgium, one of Europe’s busiest container terminals.

The deployment is a key part of DP World’s digital transformation of the terminal, which handles 2.5 million containers every year, 3,000 trucks daily and almost 950 ships annually. It is designed to provide secure and resilient connectivity for 900 employees at Antwerp Gateway and the changing demands made of connected devices.

DP World Antwerp will be able analyse and optimise processes and operations, such as the movement of vehicles around the terminal.

DP World Antwerp evaluated various technologies before choosing BT’s solution, based on Rajant Corporation’s scalable, mobile Kinetic Mesh, which provides affordable, constant, real-time access to critical applications.

BT worked with Rajant, which has headquarters in Malvern, Pennsylvania, US, and DP World Antwerp on proof-of-concept trials to demonstrate how the technology would fulfil the demands of the terminal operations ahead of the full deployment.

The strength of mesh

The flexible wireless backbone network dynamically adapts connections to moving vehicles and overcomes obstacles within the ever-changing environment that includes containers or large ships. It complies with radio frequency and industrial regulations governing use of wireless on the site.

Using a combination of BreadCrumb wireless network nodes and InstaMesh networking software, Rajant Kinetic Mesh networks have any-node to any-node capabilities to continuously and instantaneously route data via the best available traffic path and frequency –for any number of nodes, all with extremely low overhead.

The BreadCrumbs can communicate with any Wi-Fi or Ethernet-connected device to deliver low-latency, high-throughput data, voice and video applications across the meshed, self-healing network.

Patrick Putman, chief information & innovation officer, DP World, said: “The container industry and global supply chain is undergoing huge changes enabled by digital technology. BT understands this and is helping us innovate to build on our success.

“Working together, we have successfully completed a wireless backbone solution that creates an infrastructure for future IoT deployments, opening up the possibilities of automation and artificial intelligence. It is our backbone for growth.”

Chet Patel, global transformation officer & president continental Europe, Global Services, BT, said: “Deploying an innovative wireless backbone in such a complex and dynamic industrial environment, which operates non-stop, 24 hours-a-day, 365 days-a-year, demands detailed planning and precise execution.

“The success of the Antwerp Gateway wireless backbone solution is due not only to the technical expertise of the project team but also their in-depth knowledge of how major container terminals operate. This is a great example of how BT can innovate with customers and technology partners to create solutions that transform business.”

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