Latvian mobile operator LMT (Latvijas Mobilais Telefons) has completed a demonstration to provide 5G connectivity to the Baltic Sea.
The company worked with local technical port services provider LVR Fleet to carry out the trials, which were conducted on the Daugava River in Riga, Latvia.
LMT said that the trials were able to demonstrate uninterrupted 5G shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship connectivity.
A 5G connection was established with a ship using a terrestrial network, and network connectivity was successfully passed from the ship to the end user, it noted.
LMT said that along with LVR Fleet, it will start a wide-scale trial of the 5G technology maritime concept in the Baltic Sea this month.
According to the telco, the network signal is passed on from one ship to the next, enabling shore-to-ship and ship-to-ship communication in the sea. This includes the deployment of a 5G base station on the ship.
The telco said that because of short-range networks from land stations and 5G non-terrestrial networks to cover international waters, it can potentially enable new 5G use cases, such as making traffic, travel, and transport on the open waters safer and more efficient.
“In the near future, maritime 5G networks will allow various innovations, such as autonomous ships or UAV drones for remote control. Even though 5G connectivity has already begun to enable the maritime digitalization ecosystem, it still requires a lot of testing,” said Arturs Lindenbergs, mobility innovation lead, LMT.
"The Baltic Sea and its region is a suitable space for such trials, and we are eager to embrace this innovation potential."
LMT signed a collaboration memorandum with LVR Fleet in June 2022, while the initial concept of the trial was developed as a part of the 5G-ROUTES project – an international future mobility initiative to develop innovative and commercially viable connected and automated mobility use cases.
Founded in 1992, LMT was set up as the first mobile operator in the country. The company has over one million subscribers.
LMT is 51 percent owned by the Republic of Latvia, while Swedish telco TeliaSonera owns the remaining 49 percent.
Although a different sort of 5G trial, in the UK, JET Engineering System Solutions deployed a floating 5G base station off the coast of Dorset.
The buoy, named JET-4 Babel, is a floating 5G base station, transmitting coverage for devices to connect to and extending the distance from the shore that a 5G signal can be accessed.