Sydney Ferries Connects to 5G


Cradlepoint has announced that Transdev Sydney Ferries (Transdev) has successfully completed a trial using Cradlepoint 5G in-vehicle solutions. CCTV and Help Point data was downloaded from vessels to Operations Control Office while also providing primary connectivity for Public Announcement, Passenger Information Display, and corporate WiFi. Funding for the project was awarded to Australian Sentinel and Transdev as part of the Australian Government’s 5G Innovation Initiative grant.

Using 5G provides greater bandwidth to support connectivity requirements on modern vessels. As part of a wider Transdev program to fit-out vessels, wharves and offices with refreshed, modern information technology, Transdev deployed Cradlepoint R1900 5G Ruggedised Routers on board vessels and at wharves, to deliver reliable IP video monitoring and Emergency Help Point services, which operate throughout Sydney Harbour.

“There were two key elements of this technology that we were extremely impressed with – the 5G connection to the vessel CCTV systems, which enabled almost real-time footage review; and the speed at which we were able to get the connection live,” said Loretta Lynch, Managing Director of Transdev Sydney Ferries.

“Our newest fleet, the River Class produces up to 330GB of CCTV per day. That’s the equivalent of 100 Netflix movies. And yet our investigation team is now able to download hours of CCTV footage in minutes, which is significantly faster than what we could get with 4G,” added Eric Cannell, General Manager Finance and Commercial, Transdev Sydney Ferries.

The high bandwidth of the 5G solution means that when streaming footage of CCTV in real time, the images are clear and accurate. Compared to 4G, the reliability and stability of the 5G solution has greatly reduced the effort and repeated attempts to get visibility and access to all the data, and the new solution was up and running within days.

Australian Sentinel provides a managed service to Transdev, using NetCloud Manager to ensure network endpoints stay connected, protected and always on, available, and continuously up to date with router and modem software.

“This project is a great demonstration of what can be achieved using 5G wireless connectivity and culturally aligned organisations, who focused on accelerating technology adoption and maximising benefits,” said Tim Crouch, Managing Director, Australian Sentinel. “One key benefit that we’ve identified is that 5G is more reliable when comparing with that of 4G and we have not seen 5G black spots on the strategically important routes travelled by the vessels.”

Given the ocean-based application, the project required a rugged solution that could withstand heat, cold, salt and motion, with a durable, metal form factor. The Cradlepoint 5G R1900 router is optimised for in-vehicle networks and offers superior ruggedness, performance, security, connectivity, and utility in a purpose-built, compact design. Using location-based services within NetCloud Manager, admins can easily track and trace vessel locations and routes in real-time and determine LTE and 5G cellular coverage over a travelled area. Additionally, NetCloud Manager offers pre-built connectors that share location data with popular fleet management solutions, providing more flexibility to customers than a one-size-fits-all approach.

“The applications of 5G connectivity are endless – whether it’s in moving vehicles, in IoT devices or for Artificial Intelligence,” said Nathan McGregor, Senior Vice President, Cradlepoint Asia Pacific. The work that Australian Sentinel is doing with Transdev is an example of the huge impact that 5G connectivity can have on an organisation’s operations. The Australian Government invested in this very worthwhile grant initiative and Cradlepoint commends grant recipients for their innovative applications and executions of 5G trials.”


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