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Tag: 4g

We’re building one of the world’s largest underground LTE networks for digital mining

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on September 4, 2019

3 min read

We want to use the vast array of technology at our fingertips today to help businesses be more productive and efficient. That’s why we’re excited to announce a new partnership with South32 for a private 4G LTE network at their North West Queensland mine.

Right now, we’re in pre-deployment stage at the South32 Cannington underground silver, lead and zinc mine.  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.  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.

By adopting 4G LTE underground, the Cannington mine will be able to achieve better operating transparency, condition monitoring and production improvements for staff, machines and other mining systems, driving safety, productivity and efficiency.

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. 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.  It enables access to the latest advances in 4G LTE and NB-IoT, and is also upgradeable to 5G in the future.

The network being private means that it will be a completely standalone mobile network, independent from others, like Telstra’s own public network. South32 Cannington will have its own equipment, SIM cards and unique network codes for full autonomy and complete control.

Providing a modern connectivity platform will allow for more flexible operations as well as scalability and choice in applying various digital solutions. The combination of Ericsson mobile network equipment, Telstra radio spectrum, and leaky feeder solutions from specialist manufacturer METStech provides a unique capability that has made extending LTE underground a more commercially realistic and safer prospect.

At its full deployment, it’ll become one of the largest underground mining LTE networks in the world using leaky feeder. We’re excited to help drive South32’s Cannington mine further with this new private network, as it looks to pay dividends to safety, productivity and more.

If you want to catch a glimpse of the technology behind this build, make sure to visit the Ericsson stand at Telstra Vantage in Melbourne on 4 and 5 September.

Celebrating 20 years at our Global Operations Centre

Network

Posted on August 30, 2019

3 min read

Telstra Global Operations Centre

This week, we’re celebrating the 20th birthday of our Global Operations Centre in Clayton, Victoria. 

The state of the art facility took six years to develop and build, and cost $35 million. 

Our entire network across Australia and overseas is monitored around the clock from this one site.  

“When the GOC was put together it was the first facility of its kind in the world, we believe, that managed both copper networks and optical networks from a single place,” said Ian Wood, who leads this Centre and the IT Command Centre. 

The GOC’s stunning centrepiece is a massive digital video wall. It measures 24 metres long and 2.5 metres high. It enables staff to monitor Telstra’s fixed, broadband, satellite, broadcast television, data and mobile networks in real time. The surveillance hall itself is more than four times larger than NASA’s Houston control centre. 

The GOC has monitored over a trillion local calls since opening and hundreds of billions of text messages. 

“As technology has evolved, we’ve moved more into the optical networks and undersea cable networks,” Mr Wood explained. 

“Telstra’s been a leader in many technologies and 4G, 5G are examples of those technologies and the teams here are well integrated into both the product side of our business as well as the technology side of our business, therefore when these technologies go live, we are well prepared to support them.” 

“I think that celebrating 20 years is a significant milestone not just for the people who are here today, but importantly for the people who have come before us. I think the important thing is to reflect on the history of who’s been here and supported our communities in Australia.” 

“There’s been hundreds of technicians and engineers move through our centre, and every single one of them has been passionate about customers, our community and ensuring that Telstra is the best we can possibly be,” Mr Wood said. 

As we move into the 2020s and the deployment of 5G throughout Australia, there is an excitement at the GOC with future possibilities. 

“Our goal is to become the centre of expertise for operations within our product enablement groups, and within our engineering groups. The team at the GOC knows Operations, they’re the leaders, they’re the best and they’re a great crew,” he said. 

Tags: 4g, 5g, networks,

Turning on the digital future of mining at Lihir

Business and Enterprise

Posted on June 25, 2019

3 min read

Together with Newcrest, we’ve switched on the first Private 4G LTE mobile network in Papua New Guinea at the Lihir gold mine. This next-generation network will allow for greater levels of safety, tele-remote operation of mining equipment, and autonomous systems throughout the mine, while seamlessly integrating into Newcrest’s existing Wi-Fi network.

We worked with Newcrest to design, stage, deploy and test the network at Lihir, implementing a Private LTE system that has been validated as a dependable and scalable networking platform for the mining industry – and one that will help mining houses digitally transform their operations to plan for the future.

Newcrest’s Lihir gold mine extends 300 metres into a volcanic crater, which has the potential to expose workers to elevated temperatures. Chris Jordaan, the mine’s general manager, says that tele-remote and autonomous mining technologies are fundamental to working the hot work areas that will become more dominant features of the Lihir operation in the future.

“The Private LTE network will be a great enabler for these technologies and coupled with the existing in-pit Wi-Fi network, we have been able to create a heterogeneous network that covers the whole mining lease.”

We’ve provided Newcrest with a tailored platform using Ericsson technology that will underpin its safety and digital mining ambitions and will help improve productivity and deliver new value and efficiencies to the business. They’ll be using it to further modernise the mine site to enable the use of current and future mining applications, including tele-remote and autonomous systems, more extensively.

Newcrest and Telstra Mining Services took what has become a best-in-class preliminary deployment approach with the network. Designing it for full production but initially deploying at two sites allowed Newcrest to validate the design principles, implementation techniques and practical capabilities of Private LTE before scaling their investment.

Crucially, the Private LTE platform also includes ‘HetNet’ functionality and rugged vehicle modems provided by Perth-based AVI that allow Newcrest’s connected vehicle fleet to seamlessly switch between LTE and existing Wi-Fi networks without impacting critical mining applications. The new system, completely independent from public mobile networks, uses dual-frequency base stations configured to provide coverage for Lihir’s long-term operations in the area.

Every kind of production vehicle asset that Newcrest uses at Lihir, including trucks, drills, excavators, dozers, shovels and barges, has been connected and operationally proven over the Private LTE network. The upgrade brings significant performance improvements in terms of reliability, speed and latency – boosting fleet efficiency and real-time visibility by 80 per cent.

Lihir’s Private LTE deployment will also improve the efficiency and safety of mining, according to Gavin Wood, Chief Information & Digital Officer at Newcrest.

“Safety is Newcrest’s number-one priority and the network Telstra Mining Services has built with us at Lihir will enable safer and more efficient mining using new technologies. The success of this project was 100 per cent driven by leadership and personal commitment of the Lihir’s OT / IT team working together with Telstra Mining Services.”

LTE is a future-ready platform for wireless communication in mining, and provides highly scalable communications that will be vital to the next generation of machines and systems in the sector. We’re proud to bring our extensive experience with our own networks to help Newcrest work towards the future of mining.

Making our roads safer with connected vehicles

5G

Posted on June 24, 2019

3 min read

Ever since we began planning for the roll out of 5G in Australia, we’ve been talking about the potential impact it would have on the future of autonomous vehicles. Today we’re bringing a little bit of that future to our Cellular V2X project in partnership with VicRoads and Lexus. 

Making our roads safer in Australia is more than just a goal – it’s a necessity. Victoria’s Towards Zero plan is designed to ensure that the state’s road toll is constantly pushed towards the vision of zero deaths and serious injuries. That’s why we’re proud to put our tech towards saving lives on the road working with Lexus on the Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria (or ACV2) project.

We have just demonstrated this technology to the public for the first time today, and on-road testing of these connected vehicles will now commence in Victoria – so keep an eye out!

By optimising our network, we’re able to create a system that goes beyond simply connecting vehicles to each other – instead also connecting them to existing road network infrastructure. We’re able to use the fast, low-latency cellular ‘vehicle-to-everything’ (or V2X) infrastructure we have built over 4G to make drivers more aware of potential risks and dangers on the road before they’re able to see it themselves. 

In a connected test vehicle, for example, hard braking could send out an alert of this behaviour to alert nearby vehicles to the danger before existing in-vehicle sensors could detect the problem. Vehicles could also detect red light violations, which are received from vehicles that might be about to enter an active intersection against the light. Cameras mounted on the dashboard of test vehicles could also be connected, and configured to detect pedestrians in intersections, alerting drivers to give way.  

We’ve brought a bit of 5G performance, low latency, into our 4G network for this trial. For the moment, our 4G network has wide area coverage, and so the first hundreds or thousands of cars that use this technology will certainly do that on 4G. What 5G brings is the ability to do this at scale, with many cars on the road all communicating at the same time. What’s great is that uptake of this technology will go hand in hand with the way we’re building 5G coverage, so by the time it’s needed, we’ll have the network built out.

Crucially, we are investing in this project to develop cellular V2X for connected vehicles well before automated vehicles are readily available – making driver safer, easier, more economic and more enjoyable.

This technology is proof that mobile and automotive connectivity developed here in Australia has the ability to help prevent accidents on our roads and to potentially save lives. The strength and speed of our mobile network means Telstra is well placed to support a future where this technology can become a reality.

Our purpose is connecting Australia and building a future where everyone can thrive – and we’re especially proud to work with VicRoads and Lexus in this spirit to make our roads safer.

Lexus and Telstra at the Grand Prix: come and see the future of driving safety

Network 5G

Posted on March 14, 2019

2 min read

We’re proud to partner with Lexus in developing life-saving communication technologies for connected vehicles, and we’re even prouder to be able to show those innovative vehicles to you at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix this weekend.

As part of the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero road safety strategy, we’re working with Lexus to test and trial new and potentially life-saving Cellular V2X technology and advanced driver assistance features on Australian roads. Lexus will have these technologies and more on show at the Formula 1 Rolex Australian Grand Prix from 14 to 17 March, demonstrating how they work and why we need them.

Using our 4G mobile network and Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (V2X) technology on two Lexus hybrid cars, our partnership has tested and developed driver assistance features like emergency braking detection communication between cars, and beyond-visual-range stopped vehicle warnings – both of which can contribute to making our roads a safer place for everyone.

Cellular V2X uses a combination of our 4G mobile network and short-range radios for direct communication between nearby vehicles and the environment around them – not just other cars and trucks, but also infrastructure like traffic lights, or even the smartphones of nearby pedestrians. There’s also a pathway for 5G technology to be used in V2X development in the future, for more detailed communication and faster response times.

This trial is being undertaken as a part of Victoria’s Towards Zero strategy to help inform the future development and adoption of road safety technologies, and we think that this innovative project using world-leading technology will contribute to making our roads safer and less congested. We are all excited to see how this technology matures, and to take part in its development along the way.

It will be some time before autonomous vehicles are commonplace on Australian roads, but our work with Lexus will make driving a safer experience well before then.

Tags: 4g, sport,