Russia’s largest mobile operator, Mobile TeleSystems (MTS), has announced the completion of construction and launch of operations of Russia's first commercial 5G-ready private network for Polymetal International plc, one of the world's largest producers of gold and silver, at the Nezhdaninskoye gold deposit in the Republic of Sakha (Yakutia). The network is built on Ericsson Dedicated Networks solution.
“MTS among the first operators in the country successfully implemented a number of pilot projects with leading Russian enterprises to deploy Private LTE and 5G-ready networks for various industrial needs. We are grateful to our partner Polymetal for cooperation that resulted in the creation of 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,” said Georgy Dzhabiev, Director, Digital Solutions, MTS.
As part of the project, MTS deployed a wireless network for Yuzhno-Verkhoyansk Mining Company JSC, affiliated with Polymetal. The network supports integrated mining dispatching systems, positioning, remote and automated control of various objects, including excavators, drilling rigs, measuring devices, monitoring systems for remote equipment and video monitoring.
The construction of the network was agreed by the two parties back in October 2020. Within the project a full range of turnkey works and services has been implemented, including site inspection, network architecture design, supply and installation of radio base stations, network core and auxiliary equipment, network testing and commercial launch. At the first stage, the network built on Ericsson solutions will operate in the LTE standard with the possibility of smooth and fast upgrade to 5G.
“The system is already showing its effectiveness and is ready to move to next stage of introducing innovative technologies in production. 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. One of the first projects on the basis of this network will be launch of dispatching systems, remote control of drilling rigs and video monitoring,” said Alexander Laguta, Head of Information Technology and Communications department, Yakutsk branch of Polymetal.
5G New Radio Standalone
The new network is built on 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). Polymetal, or indeed any enterprise, can use all the carrier grade packet network functions for own mission-critical applications.
Industrial Internet of Things
“The private network is the backbone of critical communications infrastructure and the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT), 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 specifics of mining companies’ operations is work in difficult geographic and weather conditions in remote areas with limited cellular coverage. 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,” said Alexander Romanov, Head of Private Networks, Ericsson Russia.
During the next stages of the project, it is planned to implement a dispatch radio communication system based on Mission Critical Push-to-Talk over LTE network and its integration with the internal telephone network of the enterprise.