MTS launches LTE/5G private network for Russian mining company
MTS first announced plans to build the private network using Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution in October 2020
Russian operator Mobile TeleSystems (MTS) has launched the country’s first commercial 5G-ready private network for gold and silver producer Polymetal International plc. at the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The network, built on the Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution, supports several applications, including integrated mining dispatching systems, positioning, remote and automated control of various objects and video monitoring.
Initially, the network will operate in the LTE standard, but will allow for a “smooth and fast upgrade to 5G.” Ericsson says its solution complies with 3GPP standards, includes a carrier-grade network core and supports 4G and 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) simultaneously and allows dual-mode core capability to support 5G New Radio Standalone (5G NR SA).
Construction of the private network began in October 2020, when the parties involved signed an agreement, following a series of pilot projects that MTS conducted with Russian enterprises. According to MTS’ Director of Digital Solutions Georgy Dzhabiev, the carrier is one of the first in Russia to carry out such pilot projects successfully.
While most industrial enterprises can benefit from a private network, Alexander Romanov, head of private networks at Ericsson Russia, explained that mining operations take place in “difficult geographic and weather conditions in remote areas with limited cellular coverage,” making them a particularly good candidate for the improved connectivity that a private network can bring.
“Deployment of the private LTE network as a single high-speed platform for various technological needs will enable to significantly increase the speed of transferring large amounts of information, the fault tolerance of the private network, reduce its maintenance cost and enable introduction of advanced technologies including artificial intelligence,” he said.
Alexander Laguta, head of Information Technology and Communications department at the Yakutsk branch of Polymetal, claimed that the network is already proving effective and “is ready to move to next stage of introducing innovative technologies in production,” which, according to the project partners will include a dispatch radio communication system based on MC-PTT (Mission Critical Push-to-Talk) over LTE network.
“The Private 5G-ready network will significantly increase the speed of transferring large amounts of data and reduce the cost of maintaining the technological network,” Laguta summarized.
In February 2021, MTS and Ericsson announced plans to launch a similar LTE/5G private network also in Russia, this time for steel and mining company EVRAZ’s digital Sheregeshskaya mine in the country’s south-central region.