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Sandvik Mining and Rock Technology has selected Nokia’s 5G standalone (SA) private wireless network to advance digitalisation at its Tampere test mine in Finland.

The Nokia 5G SA network will enhance Sandvik’s communications and connectivity at the facility, where Sandvik tests and develops solutions in a realistic mining environment.

The network will enable fast, reliable and secure voice and video communications around mine sites, which has traditionally been a highly challenging deployment condition.

The network’s 5G capacity will also be used in automated mining processes, allowing remote operation of machines via 4K video links between the surface control centre and the underground mine.

Sandvik rock and drills technologies president Patrick Murphy said deploying the network with Nokia Automation Cloud (DAC), the company will trial a range of “game-changing” capabilities.

“As we work with our customers to help them leverage technology to digitalise their operations, the introduction of 5G opens the door to new opportunities in robotics, remote and autonomous operations, full-fleet automation, analytics and enhanced safety,” Murphy said.

“As such, it comprises a breakthrough in the digital transformation of mining.”

Nokia Digital Automation Cloud general manager Stephan Litjens added that Nokia was honoured to work with a company of Sandvik’s experience with leading-edge digital solutions for the industry.

“It’s an honour to work with a world-class company such as Sandvik,” Litjens said. “With 5G SA, its high speed, low latency performance and edge computing, the next steps on this journey can be taken.

“Through our plug-and-play Nokia DAC platform we’re supporting Sandvik to realise not only its own digital transformation goals but also those of the wider industry as it continues to deliver value to mining customers worldwide.”

DAC can be scaled according to mine operators’ needs to comprise network equipment with a cloud-based operation monitoring system to collect, process and host all generated data on site.