Nokia, working alongside Telia and Digita, will deploy a standalone (SA) 5G private network at Kittilä mine in northern Finland, the largest gold mine in Europe
Today, Nokia, Telia and Digita have announced that they will jointly deploy a private 5G SA network for Agnico Eagle Finland Oy, the Finnish company that owns the Kittilä goldmine.
The Kittilä mine, which is situated around 900km north of Helsinki, constitutes an extensive tunnel system that, at some points, is up to one kilometre beneath the earth.
According to the collaborators, the private network should give Agnico Eagle Finland in the daily operation of the mine, both above and below ground, allowing data processing to take place the network edge, as well as facilitating autonomous vehicles and more precise positioning and mechanical operations.
“Having already piloted autonomous and remotely controlled machinery in recent years, we chose to work with Nokia, Telia and Digita to deliver capabilities for the next phase of our digital transformation journey,” said Tommi Kankkunen, General Manager of the Kittilä mine. “We want to innovate by using the latest technologies and will leverage the Nokia 5G SA private network to enhance operational efficiency and support the highest level of safety for teams working at the mine.”
The network is set to be deployed in phases with an expected completion date of October 2022.
Mines present a relatively unique challenge for private 5G networks given the inherent difficulties of deploying infrastructure and propagating signals underground. Nonetheless, the benefits are clear in terms of operational efficiency and increasing safety.
Indeed, the deployment of these private networks for mines is becoming more common. Earlier this year, Nokia themselves announced they were testing private 5G network equipment in mines in Russia and Chile.
Meanwhile, Nokia’s rivals also testing and deploying their own private 5G networks in a similar environment. Last month, Ericsson announced it was working with MTS in Russia to deploy a private network at an iron ore mining and processing plant, while Huawei announced earlier this week their latest private 5G trial at coal mining operation in China.
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