Telstra has announced it will deliver a new private network for South 32's Cannington Mine which is set to be one of the largest 4G LTE networks in the world.
LTE stands for Long Term Evolution and is a 4G wireless communications standard designed to provide up to 10 times the speeds of 3G networks for mobile devices.
Telstra said they were in pre-deployment stage to deliver the network at the underground silver, lead and zinc mine, 90km west of McKinlay.
"The network will drive improved safety, automation and mechanisation at the site and will connect staff to vehicles and sensors around the mine at all times," Telstra said in a statement.
"The high throughput and low latency offered by the system means that staff will be able to control critical equipment without interruption, and South32's digitalisation strategy will be achievable throughout the mine."
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Telstra said the Cannington mine would achieve better operating transparency, condition monitoring and production improvements.
"We'll be building an initial underground network 6.5kms in length using a private, virtualised core and LTE radio technologies distributed over leaky feeder cable using LTE-capable bi-directional amplifiers," Telstra said.
"Our analysis indicates this to be the most effective solution for underground miners and is capable of adapting to the unique geology and composition of the Cannington mine."
Telstra said the system was upgradeable to 5G in the future.
"It will be a completely standalone mobile network," the telco said.
"South32 Cannington will have its own equipment, SIM cards and unique network codes for full autonomy and complete control.
"At its full deployment, it'll become one of the largest underground mining LTE networks in the world."
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