5G SA brings new connectivity levels to Silvertown Tunnel

12 October 2021

Ferrovial is using the Silvertown Tunnel project, London, to deploy the UK’s first operational 5G SA private wireless network to enhance the project’s communications capability and provide site-wide, reliable connectivity.

The result is expected to be improved wireless connectivity within the tunnel, better site communications and access management and perimeter control, as well as enhanced environmental monitoring of the project. It will also provide real-time visualisation of construction progress.

Hailed as a technological milestone, 5G SA aims to make it possible, for example, to design future construction projects combining the Internet of Things, augmented reality, artificial intelligence and robotics. It will also help create new business models and opportunities, and to coordinate the work of infrastructure companies related to 5G networks.

5G is the fifth generation of wireless technology; the SA suffix denotes it is ‘standalone architecture’ that does not depend on the existing 4G network but instead connects 5G radio directly to the 5G core network.

At Silvertown, it is being deployed in partnership with Nokia and Telent, which connects the Greenwich Peninsula and the Silvertown district in East London. The 5G network is already operative there and will soon be extended to the other side of the Thames to ensure global connectivity at the worksites.

Dimitris Bountolos, Information and Innovation Officer (CIIO) at Ferrovial explained: “This milestone reinforces Ferrovial’s position to lead the digital transformation of the construction sector. 5G networks provide unique advantages when implementing other technologies. These combined enable great advances in the way we design, build and manage projects, therefore making them safer, more efficient and more sustainable.”