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World's first 5G underground network

Telia, Boliden and Ericsson have together built a 5G network in the Kankberg mine. The network, which is the world's first underground based on 5G with new radio (NR), will be used to further develop solutions for automated and sustainable mining.

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Mining puts high demands on productivity and safety. The customized network has the ability to function independently so that operation in the mine can continue even if communication to the mine breaks down.

“We work actively with robotization to improve productivity and safety in the mine; that places high demands on future-proof communication solutions. For this, 5G is an important component that enables a higher degree of automation and thus a safer and more sustainable mine,” says Peter Burman, Program Manager at Boliden.

5G technology has many advantages over other communication solutions when connecting in demanding environments such as mines and manufacturing, where continuous operation and careful monitoring of processes is necessary. With features such as short response time and the possibility of local data management, 5G is the optimum technology to meet the mine's need for a safe working environment and high efficiency.

“Industry 4.0 is increasingly becoming a reality. This is another good example of how 5G can be used to create customized networks based on the needs of the business. To ensure the safety of personnel in the mine, the network must, for example, function even if the mine's communication with the outside world suddenly ceases to function. We can now secure the reliability of the communication with this network,” says Magnus Leonhardt, Head of Strategy and Innovation at Telia.

“5G is specially developed to support automation and IoT in industrial contexts and will serve as a platform for innovation in the industry. The network in Boliden's underground mine is a good example of an environment where 5G can provide immediate benefits by ensuring communication for applications with high demands on performance,” says Magnus Frodigh, head of Ericsson Research.

The collaboration takes place within the framework of Telia's 5G partner program and the EU project Sustainable Intelligent Mining Systems (SIMS) and builds on multi-year collaboration to identify requirements, develop solutions, and demonstrate and test the technology in the mining environment.

Translated from original press release here

Contact

Boliden Head Office

Boliden Group
Klarabergsviadukten 90
P.O. Box 44, SE-101 20 Stockholm 
Tel: + 46 8 610 15 00
Fax: + 46 8 654 80 90