Nokia, AngloGold Ashanti Colombia conduct 5G underground mining trial

Nokia and AngloGold Ashanti Colombia have conducted the first Colombian underground 5G mining trial in Jerico, Colombia. The trial examined four mining use cases in particular: Mission-critical communications, connectivity and remote teleoperation of vehicles, mining machinery and systems, and inspection and monitoring with drones and high-definition cameras.

Nokia stated in a press release that the trial was successful and “prove[d]it is possible to safely, sustainably and efficiently deploy multiple mining use cases over a private 5G SA industrial-grade network in a challenging underground environment.”

“Mines require ultra-reliable networks that can cover large outdoor areas or underground corridors,” explained Alejandro Cortes, head of Enterprise, Northern Latin America at Nokia. “Nokia’s industrial-grade 5G solutions deliver robust, secure, predictable and deep wireless coverage, and are the backbone of digital transformation in the mining sector.”

More specifically, the European vendor deployed an industrial-grade 5G private wireless network with the latest Nokia AirScale 5G portfolio in the 3.5 GHz spectrum band. The network provided the site with connectivity which delivered speeds in excess of 1 Gbps and ultra-low latency, according to Nokia.

The network included Nokia AirScale radio bases and adaptive antennas with massive MIMO capability, all integrated into a 5G standalone (SA) architecture with network partitioning capability.

Juan Camilo Quintero, corporate affairs and innovation director of AngloGold Ashanti Colombia, commented:  “For AngloGold Ashanti Colombia it is important to be at the forefront with the latest technologies to ensure safety, sustainability, reliability, productivity and environmental sustainability. Working with a technology pioneer like Nokia to carry out the first 5G trials of mission-critical connectivity and autonomous driving for mining is an important milestone in the development of Industry 4.0 and the digitization of mining in Colombia and Latin America.”

Additional project partners include Epiroc and Sandvik, which develop vehicles and mining automation systems, and OSC Top solutions, which provide the integration of services and solutions for drone inspection.

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