Case Studies From 5G Wireless Private Networks in the Mining Sector (2023)

By Andy Striegler, Rogers Communications Inc.; Kamaljit Bal, Rogers Communications Inc.

A new generation of private 5G networks is emerging to address critical wireless communication requirements in public safety, industrial operations, and critical infrastructure. Advanced network features and services are needed to serve mission-critical and business-critical use cases. Within the industrial market segment, the mining sector has been an early adopter of wireless private technology and has been investing heavily in wireless private networks (WPNs) around the globe to enhance overall productivity, operational efficiency, and safety. In recent years, Rogers has deployed multiple WPNs in the mining sector in Canada. In 2020, Rogers launched Western Canada’s first private LTE network with one of the latest coal mine in British Columbia and later deployed 5G-Ready private network solutions at an Open Pit Gold Mine in Northern Ontario. The WPNs were designed to provide reliable, low-latency wireless communications primarily for autonomous haul truck operations and other critical in-pit applications. On-premises deployment architecture model was chosen as a standalone private network. To enable a fully operational 5G Wireless Private Network at the mine, Rogers has deployed multiple cellular network towers with its full range of spectrum frequency bands to support a diverse set of use cases and applications throughout the mine site. Radio Access Network (RAN) Sites were configured to enhance efficiency, increase Bandwidth, reduce latency to less than 20ms. Wireless Private Network sites are connected to fully redundant High Availability (HA) Mobile Cores deployed locally on mines Data Centers. Each site has fiber transport backed up by Microwave link. The network has been built with a full failover backup system across the site. The system is designed to guarantee automated deployment and configuration, and efficient operation and maintenance throughout its life. The authors of this paper and presentation will discuss the lesson learned, key system requirements, use cases, design considerations, operations, and network performance.

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