Tag Archives: Travis Young

Aqura to take on Australia’s 5G LTE underground mining challenge

Aqura Technologies has been awarded a grant from the Australian Government under the 5G Innovation Initiative to, it says, augment the organisation’s own development work to address the challenge of delivering underground 5G LTE.

The grant is an important step to overcome the technical and commercial barriers associated with operating next-generation broadband wireless networks in sub-surface environments, according to Aqura.

Aqura Chief Executive Officer, Travis Young, said the project was founded on extensive customer and industry feedback as critical to enable mining operators to unlock the benefits that surface operators had been enjoying for a number of years.

“With over 50% of mining in Australia being conducted underground and increasing, the industry is still playing catch-up with technology that is being widely utilised to great benefit in surface operations,” he said.

“Our track record and development work, coupled with the 5G Innovation Grant, will enable our team to work to deliver technical architectures and a validated commercial model which will enable and accelerate adoption.”

The 5G Innovation Initiative grant will complement investment already made by Aqura to deliver technical architectures, commercial model development and installation of a live Private 5G LTE network in an operating mine. The project leverages a lot of learnings from a 2017 project where Aqura successfully delivered Private 4G LTE in an underground mine in the Kalgoorlie region of Western Australia, Aqura said.

The focus of the program is to fast-track the enablement of applications and processes that are being adopted in surface operations so underground operators can realise the benefits of enhanced environmental, safety and productivity outcomes that advanced wireless communications can deliver, it added.

Aqura’s Chief Operations Officer, Alan Seery, said underground operators are wanting a kick-start to advance their technology capabilities.

“Many underground mines use processes and technologies that are decades old and operators want to leverage the latest technology, but the technical challenges and the commercial model to acquire can be prohibitive,” he said.

“We’ve learnt a lot through our previous work in underground, and we believe our new LTEaaS (LTE as a service) platform optimised to deliver next-generation private industrial operations networks will support a new commercial approach that will better suit the business models utilised by mining operators.

“And with new advances in radio access, we’re excited to have the opportunity to work with some very motivated partners to develop and make available new architectures which will bridge the underground connectivity gap.”

Many of Aqura’s core team were behind the first Private 4G LTE network in Australian resources, delivered Private 4G LTE underground and supported delivery of one of the first above-ground Private 5G LTE networks in north Queensland earlier this year, it said.

The project has kicked off with Aqura working with a large gold operator to commence scoping. Various partners have indicated support to validate applications, devices and processes around autonomy, condition monitoring, safety systems, data access, PTT communications and IoT sensors.

Aqura Technologies improves BHP connection with Managed Services Support contract

Veris Ltd’s wholly owned subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, says it has secured a new agreement to provide Managed Services Support for BHP West Australian Iron Ore (WAIO) accommodation village entertainment networks across nine sites.

Aqura’s in-house team will provide managed support services for village entertainment network and Wi-Fi access across BHP WAIO village accommodation rooms and public areas as part of this agreement.

Close to a week earlier, Aqura was awarded several work packages by BHP WAIO to upgrade and extend the technology and communications infrastructure at a range of accommodation sites surrounding the township of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The latest contract award leverages the internal investment undertaken by Aqura over recent periods to develop leading-edge Content Access Networks As a Service solutions, it says. “These provide capability to generate multi-year managed services frameworks with clients across a range of sectors while delivering best of breed user experiences replicating their at-home experience in a remote setting,” Aqura explained.

Travis Young, Aqura Technologies’ Chief Executive, said the engagement was a significant recognition of Aqura’s capability and skills in the delivery and efficient operation of large-scale networks and further solidifies the company’s strategic transition to a product and service-based business.

“This engagement continues a highly successful relationship supporting BHP’s In-room Communications and Entertainment Solution (IRCES), which saw Aqura upgrade over 12,000 rooms to provide high-quality connectivity access for their workers when they are away from home,” he said.

“We are proud to continue supporting BHP who have further shown their commitment to local businesses with this three-year engagement to ensure the IRCES network continues to deliver reliable and cost-effective access for many years to come.”

Veris, following a strategic review, has made plans to pursue a demerging of Aqura Technologies, explaining such a transaction will simplify the group structure and better position both Aqura and Veris Australia for growth.

Aqura Technologies to improve connectivity at BHP WA iron ore accommodation sites

Aqura Technologies has been awarded several work packages by BHP Western Australian Iron Ore (WAIO), which will see the Veris Ltd subsidiary pocket circa-A$3.7 million ($2.7 million).

The initial phase of work commenced late in the June quarter, with expected completion in November.

The contract awards will see Aqura upgrade and extend the technology and communications infrastructure at a range of accommodation sites surrounding the township of Newman in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The scope of work involves the design, procurement and construction of new point-to-point microwave, DOCSIS and fibre-optic infrastructure to enable upgrades of in-room Wi-Fi for a number of BHP WAIO accommodation sites, Veris said.

These awards extend Aqura’s history of supporting BHP WAIO in upgrading its regional technology infrastructure to offer connectivity between its operational and support sites.

In addition to the new engagement, Aqura has secured an extension of the BHP Master Services Agreement for a further 12-month period.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “The upgrades will provide a solid foundation for current and future users to access reliable and high-quality communications whilst working for extended periods in very remote areas. These technologies are increasingly recognised by mine operators as critical to the health and wellbeing of the workforces that service these operations.”

Aqura Technologies to boost FMG’s network at Kangi accommodation camp

Veris Ltd’s wholly-owned subsidiary Aqura Technologies has been awarded A$1.1 million ($849,165) in works to undertake an upgrade of the in-situ accommodation network at Fortescue Metals Group’s Kangi 1,850 room village in the Pilbara Region of Western Australia.

The scope of the Kangi village engagement is to design and deliver physical upgrades to the GPON network to ensure a high level of reliability of services to village guests, it says.

The enhancement of the existing infrastructure using Aqura’s specialist technical expertise will establish an extremely robust platform for the delivery of entertainment services and wellbeing programs to the large workforce accommodated at the site, the company explained.

Aqura has commenced the design phase and will look to complete the scope of works by July.

“The new contract adds to Aqura’s strong track record in delivering high-performance Content Access Network (CAN) solutions for clients such as BHP, Newmont, OZ Minerals and Abra Mining,” Veris said. “Aqura’s expertise in the delivery of CAN solutions has delivered enhanced user experiences in over 16,000 accommodation rooms completed to date.”

The Kangi camp was constructed – and expanded – by Pindan (photo courtesy of Pindan) as part of FMG’s Solomon iron ore mine development.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “We’re pleased to kick off a new engagement with Fortescue who are looking to our in-house team to provide a high-quality foundation for their Kangi Village network.

“The contract award is testament to the strong quality and safety record of Aqura in the design and delivery of high-quality network infrastructure.

“We are very mindful of the benefits of this type of investment which fundamentally supports and enhances the positive wellbeing for fly-in fly-out staff who are away from home for extended periods and need reliable infrastructure to support connections to family and friends.”

Aqura to supply LTE equipment to Iron Bridge magnetite project

Veris Ltd subsidiary, Aqura Technologies, has secured a contract to supply advanced LTE equipment for the Iron Bridge Magnetite project, a joint venture between Fortescue Metals Group subsidiary FMG Magnetite Pty Ltd and Formosa Steel IB Pty Ltd, in the Pilbara of Western Australia.

The A$2 million ($1.4 million) contract reflects Aqura’s strong focus to understand the evolving technology needs of the project and demonstrate its industry-leading capability to identify and design robust technology solutions that will support clients’ future operational strategies, the company said.

Aqura Technologies CEO, Travis Young, said: “This contract award is a great validation of the strategy the Aqura team are pursuing to leverage their expertise to enable other organisations to achieve positive business outcomes with leading-edge technology. We are very pleased to be supporting the great work of FMG and look forward to assisting them with their longer-term technology transformation program.

“Aqura continues to lead in high-performance industrial connectivity with advanced engagements for new rollouts, and other developments such as the imminent completion of our first 5G-enabled LTE network to bring the benefits of private LTE to a broader spectrum of businesses.”

The $2.6 billion Iron Bridge Magnetite project is expected to see a new magnetite mine developed to support production of 22 Mt/y of high-grade concentrate, according to Fortescue. First concentrate is expected to be produced by mid-2022.