The partnership will see private mobile networks from Ericsson combined with HERE’s location technology, providing real-time customisable maps of mining projects

It should be no surprise that providing quality connectivity for mining operations can be a major challenge. The mine’s complex and frequently shifting geography makes providing coverage problematic, especially when it comes to connectivity of high enough quality to enable real-time analytics and automation. 
Now, Ericsson has announced it is seeming up with location data specialist HERE, aiming to collaborate on providing mines with private mobile networks and custom mapping capabilities. This will not only allow for more accurate mapping of evolving mine geography, but also accurately tracking of assets in real time. 
Ericsson suggests that the deal will not only help to improve efficiency within the mine, but also improve safety.
“Combining our advanced private network solutions with HERE services will give mining firms a head start on their digitalisation journey,” said Thomas Norén, Head of Dedicated Network and Vice-President at Ericsson. 
“With our private mapping capabilities, we enable mining companies to unleash the power of their location data in many important use cases,” said Gino Ferru, General Manager EMEAR and Senior Vice-President at HERE Technologies.
The move comes as part of Ericsson’s growing Industry 4.0 ecosystem, which includes HERE alongside numerous additional technology partners, such as Cisco, Cradlepoint, Dell, and HPE.
The value of automation, mapping, and other Industry 4.0 applications making use of the latest connectivity technology cannot be understated. An Ericsson report on ‘Connected Mining’ in December 2020 suggested that 5G private networks could see return on investment at mining operations reach 200% within 10 years, with smart mining operations themselves expected to triple by 2025.
Unsurprisingly then, this is not the first mining project that Ericsson has been working towards. Back in October, the vendor teamed up with Russian operator MTS to deploy a private 5G-ready network for the iron ore mining and processing plant JSC Karelsky Okatysh.
Meanwhile, Ericsson’s rivals are also hurrying to prove their worth to mining companies. Nokia, for example, signed a deal alongside Telia and Digita to provide a private 5G standalone network for Finland’s Kittilä goldmine.
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