Ericsson to launch 5G pilot with Swedish mining industry

Collaborating with several Swedish companies, Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC) plans to launch a pilot project that will use 5G technology to improve productivity and safety in the Swedish mining industry.

The initial phase of the project calls for a 5G development system--consisting of new and existing technologies--to be used to remotely control a Volvo truck used for transporting ore in a mine operated by Boliden. The project, called the Pilot for Industrial Mobile Communication in Mining, is part of the 5G for Sweden program that was announced in March.

The 5G for Sweden program gathers major industrial players, universities and research institutes with the aim of developing ICT solutions based on 5G standards, which have yet to be formally defined by standards bodies.

The mining industry pilot is a joint cooperation between Ericsson, ABB, Boliden, SICS Swedish ICT and Volvo Construction Equipment. According to Ericsson, its aim is to find solutions that can be applied in an industry that has traditionally been seen as having a hazardous and challenging operational environment.

"The successful implementation of such technology could and should lead to improved safety," said Torbjörn Lundahl, program manager for 5G for Sweden, in a press release. "More connected machines and devices mean fewer people will be required to work underground. The seamless integration of over- and underground activities will help improve safety and productivity, as well as enabling better monitoring and remote control."

Sara Mazur, vice president and head of Ericsson Research, said her division is eager to research the challenges faced by the mining industry. "The idea is to identify areas where mining operations can be improved through the use of mobile communication," she said in the release. "This is in line with Ericsson's vision of a Networked Society in which everything that can benefit from being connected, will be."

According to Ericsson, 5G wireless access--in contrast to earlier generations--should not be seen as a specific radio-access technology. Rather, it is the overall wireless-access solution addressing the demands and requirements of mobile communication beyond 2020. LTE will continue to develop in a backwards-compatible approach and will be an important part of the 5G solution for frequency bands below 6 GHz. In parallel, new radio-access technology will emerge, at least initially targeting new spectrum.

For more:
- see the release

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