ZTE Corporation Propels Smart Port Development through Antenna Service Based on Digital Twin Technology

ZTE Corporation 5G Information
4 min readDec 15, 2023


At the 2023 China Mobile Global Partner Conference, ZTE Corporation and China Mobile announced the joint release of a trailblazing digital twin-based antenna and RIS intelligent planning open service for smart ports. To encourage wireless technology innovations in the shipping industry, the service will be available on China Mobile’s new-generation AI open platform.

ZTE Corporation: Innovative Digital Twin-Based Solutions for Smart Ports

In 2023, ZTE and China Mobile jointly launched Digital Twin as a Service (DTaaS), a digital twin-based antenna and Radio Intelligent Service (RIS) intelligent planning open service that can be used to optimize cloud-based smart port operation. China Mobile’s groundbreaking AI open platform will deliver DTaaS to help port operators schedule and deliver containers efficiently as new 5G wireless communication networks are deployed.

When utilized in complex industrial environments, wireless communication involves processing enormous volumes of real-time data. China Mobile’s cloud-based platform uses this data to safely train its digital twin service to learn and respond to information traffic in a dynamic network. By applying AI to incoming information, the service helps carrier networks operate efficiently and reliably.

DTaaS optimizes RIS and antenna configurations by training the platform’s safe virtual testing environment that represents the port’s real-world network with real data. The simulation optimizes the actual network configuration and mitigates information loss and latency while minimizing risk compared to its real-world counterpart.

China Mobile’s platform allows DTaaS to iteratively utilize actual data to determine the ideal location, number, and configuration of a given set of RIS and antennas. The digital twin uses AI to optimize a large configuration of RIS elements by learning and predicting how data is received from the network. The optimization scheme is characterized by its pooling capability, flexibility, security, and stability. By packaging this technology in a cost-effective, operator-friendly release, ZTE and China Mobile are demonstrating their commitment to advancing the use of wireless network technologies in smart ports.

The Power of AI and Digital Twins in ZTE Corporation’s Strategy

As demand for goods increases, container ports are becoming centers of collaboration and advancement along the supply chain. Although today’s 5G networks are most commonly utilized by consumer mobile devices, they are increasingly being used in port operation management. In the future, a facility’s data network performance will play a critical role in its successful port management.

Consequently, shippers are accelerating their adoption of 5G wireless network technology and automated container terminals (ACTs) at container yards. Wireless networks and cloud platforms will soon be essential to the deployment of smart technologies at ports and container terminals.

ZTE’s digital twin model relies on secure, fast, and reliable 5G networks to increase operational efficiency and accuracy via proper data utilization and improved network planning. The virtual model uses AI to optimize data flow, reduce latency, and increase operational efficiency and reliability. Within a 5G framework, DTaaS can be used to optimize port operations and make heavy equipment, like automatic cranes, operate more efficiently.

In this context, DTaaS can reduce energy consumption during activities such as container handling and stacking. As a result, goods can move more easily through the supply chain, which can also enhance delivery speeds and lower the expenditure on fuel.

By synergistically integrating AI and digital twin technologies, ZTE and China Mobile make port management more cost-effective. DTaaS includes rich port datasets, data-driven AI models, and training environments. Its platform features full protocol stacks and independent R&D components that run on a robust, high-precision wireless network.

The virtual model observes and validates incoming data as it syncs with a physical container yard, while the AI component helps the system analyze the operating data and adapt to optimize port operations. The user-friendly interface will allow operators to fine-tune appropriate port management strategies to overcome challenges and meet their goals.

ZTE Corporation Enhancing Port Efficiency

ZTE’s DTaaS iteratively optimizes the management of driving tracks and shore cranes in smart ports by representing the port’s antenna and RIS scheme on the China Mobile cloud platform. The service uses container data and performance indicators and deploys a multidimensional evaluation of network performance sets to iteratively optimize antenna and RIS configurations.

Operators can use the open platform’s user interface to access training datasets and apply basic reinforcement learning algorithms or proprietary intelligent algorithms according to their needs. They can use test datasets to infer, derive, and fine-tune network planning strategies while rapidly validating their network planning policies. They can also easily review multi-dimensional evaluation results that include performance metrics, coverage indicators, and resource consumption measurements.

These activities set the stage for operators to constantly improve network planning strategies, improve daily operational efficiency, and increase network coverage and performance. The leaderboard format encourages developers to work with the technology to deliver industry-leading models.


As advances in intelligent digital network management transform the shipping industry, ZTE Corporation’s digital twin-based service represents a milestone in data management for smart ports. ZTE’s collaboration with China Mobile signifies the companies’ dedication to developing best-of-class intelligent networks that will fast-track the evolution of port optimization and operations management using 5G networks.



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