RISE ICT stories: Next Generation Mobile Communication in Mining

A digital wireless mine with autonomous vehicles and no people underground might sound like science fiction, but huge strides are being made to turn this into reality.

The project PIMM (Pilot for Industrial Mobile communication in Mining), started in 2015, addresses the challenges of improving the safety, robustness and productivity of operations in underground mines. The aim is to evaluate new mobile communication infrastructures in this industrial context, and to validate new technology, applications and business models.

In early 2016, a state-of-the-art mobile network will be built in Boliden’s Kankberg mine. Several applications will be implemented, tested and evaluated; from voice communications to machine control.

The project focuses on how safety and productivity in a mine can be improved by using a 5G mobile system, and how this technology affects stakeholders, roles and business models. PIMM will also provide tests and assessments of applications for communication, operation, safety, automation and remote control over the 5G network. Finally, analyses of pilot installations will be performed, resulting in recommendations for future industrialization.

This is not only an important innovation within the mining industry, but will also benefit Sweden: Industries within Sweden are leading the way in industry digitalization and the global initiative for digital infrastructure in the process and manufacturing industry.

Project partners are: RISE SICS, Boliden, Ericsson, Volvo CE, TeliaSonera, ABB, Luleå University of Technology and Wolfit.

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