Private LTE, the key to a connected mine

Issue 5 2022 Mining (Industry)

With the current global economy conditions, mining operators are forced to find more efficient ways of operating while maintaining safety and improving profits. Hytera’s Private LTE (P-LTE) solution for intelligent mining is suited to operations in the harshest environment.

With key drivers such as automation, mobility and big data analytics, Hytera’s P-LTE solution for intelligent mining can reduce opex, simplify daily operations and ultimately accelerate productivity by creating a connected mining system.

A reliable radio communication network enables solutions such as telemetry, anti-collision systems, push-to-talk, CCTV, high-precision GPS, autonomous drilling and haulage systems.

LTE for intelligent mining

Legacy Wi-Fi networks have limitations such as low power, causing poor coverage, weak cybersecurity and poor mobility capability. However, Hytera’s LTE broadband products allow for larger radio coverage, seamless roaming between sites, QoS, intrinsic resilience, enhanced cyber protection, as well as a low latency of 10 ms.

Virtually any underground application requiring wireless connectivity can run on private wireless networks, including autonomous vehicles, robotic processes and smart sensors – even applications that could be served by cabled connections, such as CCTV camera feeds. This is because LTE and 5G have the necessary bandwidth, while also being able to support low-power sensors and IoT networks, and to adapt to older network protocols for legacy applications.

If wireless spectrum is available, the same network technology can be deployed on the surface and underground, providing fleet connectivity and person-to-person or group communications across the entire mine.

Industrial 5G environments will deliver (ultra) high-definition video and sub-millisecond latency to enable an ever-wider array of use cases involving real-time remote control of high-speed robots and drones, and will connect hundreds of thousands of IoT sensors and industrial devices – above and below ground.

In other words, there’s no longer a question about which connectivity technology to use for each use case. Private wireless can handle all mission-critical applications. Having just a single network technology to deploy and manage can reduce operating costs significantly, while making a whole range of operational gains possible through Industry 4.0 digitalisation and automation – both above and below ground.

As there are fewer ‘access points’ needed compared to Wi-Fi, cellular technologies are reducing the telecom complexity and footprint (and hence the cost of deployment and operation) in the mine: less fibre backhaul is needed, lower power consumption, etc. This also translates into lower probability of network outages that may affect worker safety.

Hytera provides a complete end-to-end LTE wireless broadband network solution including:

• Radio access network.

• Backhaul.

• Core.

• LTE/LMR convergent solution.

• Devices and management.

In summary, Hytera P-LTE offers:

• Higher bandwidth to provide real-time audio and video for M2M communications, which will also improve critical decision-making time.

• A safer environment achieved by full interoperability of industry standards, with secure, encrypted communications and higher security control ensuring higher resilience against cyberattacks.

• Reliability: Robust carrier-grade radio access network designed with full consideration for redundancy, availability and QoS.

• Flexible: Quickly deployable, converged network of LTE and legacy PMR.

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