Telia to make Boliden’s Aitik open pit copper mine 5G-ready with Ericsson technology

Telia in Sweden says it will build and manage a dedicated local 5G-ready mobile network for mining company Boliden at Aitik, one of the world’s most efficient open-pit copper mines, located in the north of Sweden. Over time, the new mobile network will be used to monitor and control machines in mining operations. The goal is to improve productivity, working environment and safety in operations.

Telia will deliver a complete solution to Boliden with both radio network and core network (the brain of a mobile network) and is responsible for continuous management and development of the solution. The solution is based on the latest 4G-technology from Ericsson and can be upgraded to 5G over time. Telia and Boliden, together with partners like Ericsson, have a long-standing partnership to explore digitalisation in mining and were first in the world to launch an underground 5G-network in a mine.

“This deal is a milestone in our cooperation with Boliden and our initiatives in dedicated network services. We will now take the next important step forward and deliver a full scale secure dedicated mobile network with high availability, enabling Boliden to accelerate their digital journey and adopt entirely new technologies in a real production environment,” says Tobias Larsson, Head of the Enterprise Business unit at Telia Sweden.

Connecting and automating different systems in a process makes it easier to identify improvements in that process. It also enables proactive maintenance of equipment to minimise risk for accidents and mitigate disruptions to the production. Automation can also contribute to a safer work environment as personnel can move further away from machinery, in some cases to a control center.

To allow for flexibility in the operations, Telia will deploy a mobile base station at Aitik. Boliden can also choose to add new services to its dedicated mobile network, like small 5G dots to enhance indoor coverage or walkie-talkie functionality in its mobile phones (known as Push-to-Talk) to enhance communication between workers in the mine. The solution Telia delivers to Boliden is based on the service Enterprise Mobile Network, EMN.

“Telia Company is a pioneer in the area of dedicated network services that provides factories, hospitals and other critical infrastructure with robust and secure private mobile networks. Telia Company has launched its service Enterprise Mobile Network in Sweden and Norway. It will soon launch in Finland and more markets in the Nordics and Baltics will follow.”

In addition to Boliden, Telia is driving several customer projects in this area. A recent example is a dedicated network that Telia built with partners Ericsson and Afry to connect Hitachi ABB Power Grids production environment at its transformer factory in Ludvika, Sweden. Another example is a large deal to provide wireless communication for Oslo Metro’s new signalling system, the first time a mobile network will be used to control subway trains.