Verizon Business and Virginia International Terminals LLC (VIT) have agreed to deploy the carrier’s On Site 5G Ultra Wideband network, a private 5G network, at the main Port of Virginia container terminal.
The On Site 5G private network is scalable and could replace Wi-Fi across the Virginia International Gateway facility, which is a 275-acre marine terminal. VIT also will explore the use of autonomous over-the-road trucks for drop off and pick up of containers.
“Seaports provide some of the best possible examples of the power of private 5G, with uses spanning autonomous vehicles, connected heavy equipment, and secure, real-time tracking and logistics, among many others,” Verizon Business CEO Sowmyanarayan Sampath said in a press release. “That’s why On Site 5G is ideal for innovative partners like Virginia International Terminals. It puts a wide range of 5G capabilities on offer, from data-intensive, high-bandwidth industrial needs to secure, reliable broadband for everyday business.”
VIT is owned by the Virginia Port Authority, an agency of the state. Rich Ceci, VIT’s Senior Vice President of Technology and Projects for VIT, said in the On Site 5G is appropriate for both indoor and outdoor use.
The use of such technology for autonomous vehicles for over-the-road trucks has significant environmental impacts and could help address a shortage of drivers.
Verizon On Site 5G is a non-standalone private network that combines 5G Ultra Wideband small cells with an LTE packet core and supporting radios. It is compatible with many LTE and 5G devices, Verizon says.
In March, Verizon Business said that investment management firm BlackRock will deploy On Site 5G in its new New York City headquarters. It is the first customer of the platform.
In September 2020, the carrier laid out its intention to use in-building 5G small cell sites to support private enterprise networks. It said at the time that the platform would be commercially available by the end of 2020.