Ericsson simplifies 5G for mines and utilities

  • June 1, 2021
  • Steve Rogerson

Ericsson is targeting mining, offshore and power utilities with Private 5G that provides simple 4G LTE and 5G standalone (SA) connectivity.

Other markets include manufacturing, process industry, ports and airports.

Private 5G optimises and simplifies business operations with cloud-based network management, keeps sensitive data on-premise, has zero downtime upgrades and guarantees performance through service-level agreements (SLAs).

It can be installed within hours at any facility and can be scaled to support larger coverage areas, more devices and higher capacity when needed. The product is designed to be flexible and will support a range of deployment sizes, depending on requirements, to suit varied needs. Businesses can manage their networks and integrate with IT and OT systems via an open API.

Private 5G builds upon Ericsson’s 4G and 5G radio and dual mode core technology, enabling a wide variety of use cases for indoor and outdoor environments while integrating with business operations, devices and applications. As a result, companies should be able to improve productivity, give their customers more value and provide better working environments for employees.

Use cases include tracking assets and real-time automation to improve productivity in warehouses, and a digital twin that can help to optimise manufacturing operations. Efficient quality inspections can also be performed via augmented reality or smart surveillance drones to increase worker safety, particularly in potentially hazardous environments such as ports and mines.

“Automation, and safety through automation in our mining operations is an absolute must for us,” said Peter Burman, programme manager at Swedish mining company Boliden. “Ericsson Private 5G is exactly what Boliden needs to bring high quality, fast and secure connectivity into potentially hazardous environments allowing us to mobilise efficiency and safety improving use cases.”

Ericsson has a track record of operational 4G and 5G private network deployments with users worldwide. Private 5G builds on the success of that portfolio and deployment insights, as well as insights from projects such as 5G-Industry Campus Europe.

“With Ericsson Private 5G, we take the best of Ericsson’s current portfolio and top it up with the best of our new technology,” said Thomas Noren, head of dedicated networks at Ericsson. “We do this to give businesses what they need to improve productivity, enable new offerings and give employees a better working environment. With Ericsson Private 5G, we also give operators a better way to serve business customers and leverage their assets – in short, to grow beyond mobile broadband.”

Niels König from the Fraunhofer Institute for Production Technology, added: “Private 5G networks are highly attractive for producing companies because of the uncompromised performance that 5G can bring, allowing them to tackle the challenges of production. Efficiently deploying and using networks in enterprises requires simplicity in installation, flexibility in connecting to existing production IT and lean operations while at the same time being able to scale the network to meet future challenges. Ericsson Private 5G delivers exactly these capabilities.”

And Leo Gergs, senior analyst at ABI Research, said: “With this new offering, Ericsson will be able to address key trends in the enterprise cellular market. The value proposition will appeal to operators and service providers as the solution hides technology complexity and therefore reduces the barrier of entry to deployment for many different flavours of enterprise networks.”