Nokia network powers innovation for NORCAT

Nokia, in partnership with the Canadian Centre of Excellence in Next Generation Networks (CENGN), will install and operate a private LTE/4.9G wireless connectivity network at NORCAT’s Underground Centre in Sudbury, Ontario
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Nokia’s DAC will enable secure wireless communications between miners and surface personnel, including push-to-talk and push-to-video

Staff reporter

The three partners are working together to deploy long-term evolution (LTE) connectivity at the centre, which is an operating underground mine. Here, NORCAT enables start-ups, small/medium enterprises and international companies to develop, test and demonstrate innovative and emerging technologies.

The Nokia Digital Automation Cloud will provide a high-bandwidth, low-latency private LTE wireless network to support mission-critical communication services, asset tracking and remote-controlled vehicles.

According to the Finnish telecoms company, as opposed to legacy wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, industrial-strength LTE/4.9G wireless provides true mobile coverage and supports a larger amount of active connections per access point with far greater reliability and security.

With this network, NORCAT's tech clients will have the ability to develop, test and demonstrate emerging technologies, such as private radio services and automation, to create safer and more productive mines.

NORCAT CEO Don Duval believes private LTE is a big step forward for the industry.

Stephan Litjens, general manager for Nokia Digital Automation, said: "With LTE today, and 5G tomorrow, we will enable a new era of industrial-grade wireless communication that will facilitate improved productivity, worker safety and environmental sustainability for mines around the world."

Working with mining industry partners Komatsu and Sandvik, Nokia's private LTE/4.9G and 5G networks are already enabling the use of autonomous haulage and Internet of Things solutions in the mining industry.