In the middle of the Port of Antwerp – the second largest seaport in Europe – a team from our Belgium operation, Telenet, is using drones combined with 5G, cloud, edge computing and AI technology to make huge improvements to safety and efficiency in the global shipping industry.

The drones broadcast live video using dedicated capacity from our 5G network, showing angles that wouldn’t be possible using traditional security cameras found in ports. The footage Is sent to an edge computing server in our data centre, where it is analysed in real time, with any security breaches detected setting off an alarm.

It’s the first mobile private network trial we’ve done leveraging a 5G standalone network built in the cloud. Through this initiative, we’re demonstrating the potential to bring greater efficiency and safety to industrial shipping practices across the world, through leveraging the power of standalone 5G, cloud, edge computing and AI-driven computer vision applications.

The Antwerp trial is one of several pilots we’re working on with our operating companies to take the services that use our mobile networks to the next level. Through a combination of 5G and cloud, we can supercharge what we can offer our customers – particularly in the business-to-business space.

This pilot is a prime example of how we approach mobile, leveraging our three strategic pillars to capitalise on the huge opportunities that exist in this area:

1. Keeping cloud technology at the heart of our infrastructure build and capitalising on the strengths of edge computing, bringing cloud capabilities close to where our customers are generating and using data

2. Leveraging the full capabilities of our 5G networks, including network slicing and ultra reliable low latency.

3. Offering network functionality through simple APIs, accessible to and usable by the developer community to create customisable and scalable products without requiring mobile or fixed telco knowledge.

Trials like this allow us to test the capabilities of our standalone 5G networks, getting a detailed understanding of data capacity and latency upsides associated with edge computing. This offers a great opportunity to test and refine our wider customer propositions – whether those are opportunities in network slicing for private 5G, or further improving already low levels of latency critical to the efficient transfer of data across the network.

It also highlights the potential for further monetisation of our investments in 5G through creation of new revenue streams , moving us towards our goal of truly customisable services for our B2B customers – across all industry sectors – which can be adapted to suit the specific needs of their business.

We have further pilots in flight across various sectors and solutions in our other European markets, which we will unveil in the coming months. There’s more to come.