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Tag: lte

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.

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.

A change of ‘MooD’ for live streaming

Network

Posted on December 18, 2017

3 min read

A change of ‘MooD’ for live streaming as this world first technology helps avoid the “thousand dollar screen and ten cent stream” outcome.

With the explosion in real time consumption of mobile video streaming being driven by major events and sports, there is an emerging threat to the performance of mobile networks as peak demand may swamp network cell capacity.

The use of LTE-Broadcast technology changes the underlying efficiency of live video delivery as each cell can now support an unlimited number of users watching the same content with improved overall quality. To date though, LTE-B technology has required that a dedicated part of each cell’s capacity be set aside for broadcasting. This had made the LTE-B business case harder to prove in for lower streaming demand rates.

This has now changed as Telstra and our partners have enabled the world’s first implementation of the Multicast Operation on Demand (MooD) feature whereby cells in the network only need to configure for LTE-B when there are multiple users watching the same content.

This combined with the Service Continuity feature allows mobile users to move around the network seamlessly between cells configured for LTE-B and those which are not.

Earlier this year we announced our intention to enable LTE-Broadcast (LTE-B) across our entire mobile network in 2018. With MooD and service continuity we are one step closer to that goal as we head into another year of major growth in sporting content demand.

Supported by technology partners Ericsson and Qualcomm, Telstra has now delivered world first capability to ensure LTE-B can be delivered as efficiently as possible.

Service Continuity will allow devices to transition in and out of LTE-B coverage areas without interruption. For instance, you might be at a music festival streaming an event on your phone but need to leave the venue and make your way back home (where LTE-B is not in use). Service Continuity means you can continue to watch the stream and the transition will be seamless – even though you have the left the broadcast area.

Taking that a step further, MooD allows the network to determine how many LTE-B compatible devices in any given area are consuming the same content. MooD then intelligently activates or deactivates LTE-B, ensuring the mobile network is as efficient as possible in that location.

For example, if a die-hard football fan is streaming a match we will likely service that one user with unicast, as that is the most efficient way of delivering the content. However if more users in the same cell decide to watch the match, MooD makes the decision automatically as to whether it is more efficient to service those users by switching the stream to broadcasting instead of individual unicast streams.

With the ever growing demand for data and video, these enhanced LTE-B capabilities will enable Telstra to deliver streaming and data services seamlessly and at scale but continue to provide a greater quality of experience for our customers.

Voice calls still connect us around the world

Telstra News

Posted on January 13, 2017

3 min read

We are enhancing Telstra’s international voice capabilities offered over our global IP network which carries more than five billion minutes of voice calls, or around 9,500 years of continuous talking, around the world every year. Darrin Webb explains how it will work.

Whilst email, messenger services and social media have transformed the way we all communicate and will continue to do so, the traditional voice call is still a very important way for people and businesses to connect. Special occasions, a quick call to your family or dropping a line to your customers and suppliers – are just a few things you want to be able to do without delay, drop-outs or time lapse. This is especially true during the holidays, when businesses are working to meet the Christmas rush or you’re talking to your loved ones around the world – you want to hear them loud and clear.

Telstra’s global IP network plays a critical role in keeping millions of people – and thousands of businesses – connected with voice calls.

We carry more than five billion minutes of international voice calls every year and see peak volumes over the holiday periods and during critical world events where our network experiences a surge of calls. On Christmas Day alone we handle around 40% more calls compared to an average day of international traffic. Calls are also around 25% longer at this time of year.

We are investing in our network to deliver a superior international voice experience by supporting new voice technologies, such as Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) with advanced features, and making sure traditional and new technologies work seamlessly together.

Enhancing our voice experience

To enhance the voice service for Telstra’s consumer and business customers in Australia as well as our international carrier customers, Telstra is in the final stages of  the INVENT (International Next-gen Voice Evolution and Network Transformation) program.

This program will transform our existing global voice network and operational support systems to provide our customers with premiere next-generation voice and multimedia services. It is focused on ensuring we can offer the latest VoIP enabled capabilities, increasing capacity and set ourselves up to support High Definition Voice and Voice over LTE (VoLTE) interworking services.

The network transformation will see a full scale rollout of leading software driven technologies in multiple locations around the world. This will help to enhance our network and ensure there are no delays for International Direct Dialling (IDD), toll-free and roaming services to any part of the world with fewer call drop outs and faster call set up times regardless of whether the call is being made between mobiles, fixed line or VoIP.

In addition to offering a better quality of service, an upgrade to our systems opens up further opportunities for our carriers to swap and trade voice minutes and get better analytics about network performance.

As part of the INVENT program, late last year the new International Convergent Softswitch (ICS) platform in Sydney went live. Partnering with Metaswitch and NetNumber to deploy this solution, this switch carried international traffic between Australia and the United Kingdom, making this critical traffic route the first to benefit from these enhancements just in time for Christmas.

We’re looking forward to rolling these enhances to other key routes in the coming months and migrating more customers onto the new platform.

Find out more about Telstra’s voice services here

Tags: LTE, mobile,

Leading the way to provide brilliant voice and video calling experiences

Tech and Innovation

Posted on December 9, 2016

4 min read

In 2016, Telstra continued to enhance our mobile network by delivering new technologies focused on providing customers with brilliant voice and video calling experiences.

 

Voice over LTE

Voice over LTE (VoLTE) is the next generation of how voice calls are carried over our mobile network. When calls are made on a VoLTE enabled handset, VoLTE works by integrating the call into the 4G LTE data stream.  Your data will also stay on 4G when you make a VoLTE call which your overall experience will be faster and your calls to other devices that are HD voice enabled on the Telstra mobile network or Telstra’s fixed networks will be in HD.

Telstra launched Australia’s first VoLTE service in September 2015, and soon after we enabled Telstra’s entire LTE footprint with the technology. This means 98% of the Australian population has access to VoLTE from Telstra and we’re currently planning to hit 99% by July 2017.

Our customers are taking advantage of the technology and we’ve seen nearly one million Telstra customers made a VoLTE call in the past month. This figure is on the rise, and we expect to have approximately five million customers using VoLTE by mid-2017.

As of mid-2016, all new 4G smartphones launched to our consumer mobile customers have been VoLTE ready and we expect this to be a core feature for all upcoming post-paid models, with new pre-paid models being progressively supported over time. As always, Telstra conducts comprehensive testing on both the mobile network and the devices we sell to ensure our customers receive the best possible call experience.

With VoLTE now well established, we are rapidly evolving our network and have commenced the roll out of other exciting technologies such as Voice over WiFi and Video over LTE.

 

Voice over WiFi

While most of our customers enjoy great mobile coverage, there can sometimes be spots in homes or businesses (due to location, terrain or building construction) where the mobile network just can’t reach. Others who still live in remote locations just beyond the reach of Telstra’s mobile network want the convenience of using their mobile whilst they are at home.

To help our customers stay connected in even more places in, during October 2016 we launched clever technology called Mobile WiFi calling (also known as Voice over WiFi). It helps make missed calls due to limited in-home coverage a thing of the past and is an Australian first.

Mobile WiFi calling works by handing mobile phone calls between our 4G mobile service and your home WiFi connection. The handover between technologies is seamless so you can walk from room to room or out the front door and continue your call. It means you can now have mobile coverage anywhere you have a solid consumer WiFi service.

It’s available to our Samsung Galaxy S6 and S6 edge customers now and on many more devices soon via a standard over the air firmware upgrade. Customers just need to make sure they have the latest device software loaded and we will look after the rest.

 

Video over LTE

The next generation of video technology for mobile devices – known as Video over LTE or ViLTE – was also launched on our mobile network in October 2016.

ViLTE lets those with eligible devices make video calls to other Telstra ViLTE customers using our 4G and 4GX coverage, the same way you make voice calls today. On ViLTE, the voice and video components of the call are independent, which mean you can turn the video on and off during a call without affecting your voice conversation or you can choose to answer a call as voice only if you do not want to be seen.

What sets ViLTE apart from other video calling offerings is that it also provides a consistent data stream for the video, so it helps to provide a better video quality experience.

ViLTE is currently available to Telstra’s Samsung Galaxy S7 customers, but we’ll be enabling the technology on more devices very soon. In future, we will also extend the capability of ViLTE to allow customers to dial into videoconferencing calls.

 

But there’s more

With these foundational capabilities in the network, we will be able to bring the next generations of messaging to mobile devices and even allow many of these services to communicate directly into handsets, screens and other devices inside the home in future.

Tags: LTE,