Ericsson loops mobile operators into private 5G deal for mining sector
Ericsson has teamed up with Canadian systems integrator Ambra Solutions to sell private LTE and 5G networks to mining companies worldwide. Ambra will partner with Ericsson customers, in the shape of “global service providers”, as part of the deal, delivering private networks for the mining sector in concert with telecoms operators.
Ericsson said the deal opens up “exciting new opportunities and revenue streams” for the operator community.
Ambra will repackage Ericsson’s so-called Ericsson Radio System, which covers LTE and 5G NR core, radio and transport functions, alongside consultancy, platform, and security functions. Up to 60 Wi-Fi access points will be replaceable with a single “solution”, said Ericsson.
Ambra will use LTE and 5G to automate ventilation systems, real-time personnel and vehicle tracking, and remote control of machinery like scoop diggers, hauler trucks, drillers, and other mining equipment.
The pair have already completed eight underground and open pit mining deployments in Canada, providing over 90 kilometres of network coverage, they said.
Private LTE will enable customers in the mining industry to bring automation and intelligence to mission-critical tasks for open pit or underground mines. Ericsson said “leaky cable or Wi-Fi connectivity” is been unable to deliver reliable wide-area connectivity to modernise applications in such environments.
Ericsson and Ambra partnered last year to deliver the world’s deepest underground LTE network for the Agnico Eagle mining complex, LaRonde, in Abitibi, Quebec, in Canada. Located 3.5 kilometres below the surface, the mission-critical private network provides data and voice services across the LaRonde mine site and enables several IoT use cases to improve safety and mining operations.
Since then, several applications have been deployed using Ericsson solutions to deliver automation of ventilation systems, real-time personnel and vehicle tracking and remote controlling of machinery like scoop diggers, hauler trucks, drillers, and other mining equipment.
Eric L’Heureux, chief executive at Ambra Solutions, said: “The Ericsson products are optimal to deliver the most demanding applications used by the mining 4.0 industry. The reliability of Ericsson products enables more predictable, secure and lower-cost connectivity, and mining companies want to use a reliable product that is available worldwide.”
Shannon Lucas, head of Ericsson’s emerging business customer unit in North America, commented: “The mining industry has been vulnerable to challenges of energy consumption, equipment loss, and human safety. We have designed an easy-to-use cellular connectivity solution to address these issues and deliver efficiency through digital transformation, while creating a path to 5G.”
The LTE solution is upgradable to 5G NR in software, and provides massive IoT capabilities for sensor-based applications.