Mining player joins Ericsson, Telia to excavate fresh 5G uses – Mobile World Live

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Swedish mining player Boliden outlined a plan to trial advanced control of industrial machinery and vehicles using its underground private 5G network, as it joined the Telia and Ericsson-led NorthStar innovation group.   

The industrial player plans to stress test 5G in collaboration with the operator and equipment vendor, with the hope of uncovering new functions for its infrastructure including prioritising data traffic between different underground machines.

Its eventual aim is to understand capacity, stability and security requirements for “advanced mining operations” at depths of up to 750 metres.   

NorthStar is a European Union-backed scheme founded by Ericsson and Telia, designed to provide industrial players in Sweden with access to a purpose built mobile network to develop and test advanced enterprise applications.  

Boliden’s existing private 5G network in Kankberg, in place since 2019, will be expanded and upgraded by the telecoms players and then connected to the NorthStar infrastructure.

Telia noted its customer would be able to benefit from new technical capabilities including positioning, network slicing and edge computing.

Boliden senior development engineer Stefan Castehav said it aimed to “ensure that everything connected to the network will have the exact capacity, stability and security that it requires”.

“This is important as digitisation is progressing rapidly and we are using increasingly advanced connected equipment in the mine, which places greater demands on the network,” he added, highlighting it also aimed to “evaluate what it’s like to build and manage 5G networks hundreds of metres underground”.

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