MTS & Ericsson deploying Russia’s first private 5G-ready network at Polymetal’s Nezhda gold mine

A new agreement between leading Russian telecomms company MTS and precious metals major Polymetal International PLC provides for Russia’s first commercial 5G-ready private network — based on Ericsson’s Dedicated Networks solution — which is to be deployed at the Nezhdaninskoye gold mine in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia), often referred to just as Nezhda.

Yuzhno [South]-Verkhoyansk Mining Company JSC, a Polymetal affiliate, plans to leverage the MTS-deployed network for integrated connectivity across IP-telephony, mobile devices, mine dispatch systems, remote and automated equipment control — including for excavators, drilling rigs, and measuring devices — as well as automated fire extinguishing systems and video monitoring.

Georgy Dzhabiev, Director of MTS Cloud & Digital Solutions, commented: “MTS is among the first operators in the country to have successfully implemented a number of pilot projects with leading Russian enterprises and deployed Private LTE and 5G-ready networks for various industrial needs. Now our partners from Polymetal have trusted us to build the first commercial Private LTE network in Russia for remote monitoring and managing critical processes in difficult geographic and weather conditions. I am sure that the competence and experience of MTS in the implementation of unique network and IT solutions, digitalisation and automation of production processes will help our customers to increase their business efficiency and improve the working conditions”.

Alexander Laguta, Head of Information Technology and Communications Department, Yakutsk branch of Polymetal UK, says: “Our company always stands for innovations in implemented developments for all our activities. Taking into account the harsh climatic conditions and constantly changing mountainous terrain, the deployment of the Private LTE network as a single high-speed platform for various technological needs will allow us to significantly increase the speed of transferring large amounts of information, the fault tolerance of the Private network and reduce its maintenance cost. For example, remote control of drilling rigs and dispatching will be among the first projects based on Private LTE. Currently, at the Nezhdaninsky site, tower antennas and equipment installations are already underway. We’re going to launch the network by the end of 2020.”

Alexander Romanov, Head of Private Networks, Ericsson Russia, says: “The Private Network is the backbone of critical communications infrastructure and the Internet of Things (IoT), not only in mining, but also in other industries with a high demand for seamless coverage, performance, security and reliability while supporting mission-critical business processes in a new digital reality.”

The new network will be built on the Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution, which complies with the 3GPP standards and includes a full-fledged carrier-grade network core. It supports 4G and 5G Non-Standalone (NSA) simultaneously and allows dual-mode core capability to support 5G New Radio Standalone (5G NR SA). An enterprise can use all the carrier grade packet network functions for own mission-critical applications. Ericsson Enterprise Core is a virtualised solution that easily scales its size to cover a distributed multiregional private network. It needs only two standard x86 servers in 1+1 configuration to process the workloads from 250 to 50,000 sources.