4G/5G Wireless Networks to Boost Digitization Across Industries, Telecom News, ET Telecom

Nitin Bansal, MD, Ericsson India. (file photo)

By Nitin Bansal, MD, Ericsson India


We are witnessing a massive wave of digitization across all industries with reliable and secure connectivity serving as the foundation. In this article, we explain how connectivity is benefiting the oil and gas sector as well as the mining sector globally.

The oil and gas (O&G) industries are under immense pressure to improve operational efficiency, productivity and worker safety; maintain cybersecurity; and, at the same time, reduce the environmental impact. To solve these challenges, oil and gas companies are accelerating their digital transformation. As they embrace use cases around automation, smart security, and environmental monitoring, the oil and gas industry is increasingly turning to advanced cellular connectivity to improve efficiency, while being more environmentally friendly. The industry is expected to achieve the global goal of net zero carbon by 2050.

According to a McKinsey study, using advanced connectivity to optimize drilling and production throughput and improvements in maintenance and field operations could add up to $250 billion in value to oil and gas operations. upstream gas fields by 2030.

Gain efficiency with cellular connectivity

The digitization enabled by cellular connectivity can change the outlook for oil and gas companies in many ways. With high-performance, low-latency private cellular networks, the oil and gas industry can leverage Industrial IoT (IIoT) to meet its challenges. Oil and gas installations are complicated operations and will likely always have a mix of technologies. A powerful cellular network based on 3GPP, over 4G or 5G, can serve as the backbone, supporting and connecting things like Wi-Fi or wired systems into a cohesive unit.

Cellular networks are cost-effective and scalable, while providing superior coverage. Thus, reliable and secure connectivity will accelerate innovation in the sector. Connected devices such as phones, tablets and sensors, as well as wearable devices, will allow workers to have up-to-date information such as diagrams and maintenance records at their fingertips, allowing them to complete jobs. work faster. Sensor networks powered by private cellular networks can prevent environmental hazards by tracking fugitive emissions, methane leaks and corrosion

According to Ericsson, Arthur D. Little Study’s digital workforce is 8.5% more productive and there are 48% fewer losses from health and safety incidents. Overall, companies benefit from an 8% reduction in operational expenses due to the increased efficiency of a digitally-enhanced employee. Conducting manual oil rig site inspections is one of the most dangerous jobs in the industry.

With a cellular network to provide increased performance and reliability, high-resolution video drones and Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) can easily perform surveillance tasks with maximum precision and accuracy and steer humans away from potential danger. . Drones can reduce inspection times by 90% and downtime costs caused by manual inspections by 65%. Health and safety incidents also decrease, leading to a 35% reduction in operator costs, according to Ericsson research.

Digital transformation will leverage cellular connectivity to optimize oil and gas industry business operations through data-driven insights for safer and more efficient use of existing resources. To transform the oil and gas industry, networks must be reliable, powerful and secure. Ericsson’s private cellular network solutions for the oil and gas industry enable significant improvements in safety and efficiency and unlock business value for the oil and gas industry.

Smart Mining: With revenues in excess of $500 billion, the mining industry represents a major component of the global economy. Growing demand for fuel and rare minerals required for our technology is driving industry expansion. However, alongside increased productivity, mining organizations are under pressure to improve safety, improve sustainability, reduce environmental impact and reduce operating costs.

Solving these multiple challenges is driving the evolution towards the “Smart Mine”, which harnesses data, automation, autonomous machines and advanced technologies to achieve new efficiencies and capabilities. Realizing the Smart Mine vision, however, requires a solid foundation: ubiquitous mobile connectivity. Ericsson’s connectivity solutions for the mining industry have enabled significant productivity improvements and revealed business value for both the mining industry and mobile telecommunications service providers.

Our 5G-ready private networks have been successfully deployed by mining companies around the world. I would like to cite a few examples:

Boliden Aitik Mine Research Project: Ericsson, mining giant Boliden and other partners have collaborated to co-create the mine of the future at Aitik. Ericsson’s high-performance mobile communications enabled Boliden to automate the operation of the drill rig. The automation has saved about one percent of Aitik’s total annual costs and eliminated the need for two additional drill rigs. The next stage of the rollout is fully automated/remote-controlled trucks that will provide a smoother flow of transportation and reduced fuel consumption and emissions.

Aginco Eagle: Ericsson and Canadian company Ambra teamed up last year to provide the world’s deepest underground LTE network for the Agnico Eagle mining complex, LaRonde, in Abitibi, Quebec. Located 3.5 kilometers below the surface, the private 4G LTE network provides data and voice services at the LaRonde mine site and enables several Internet of Things (IoT) use cases to improve safety and mining operations. The benefits of installing a private 4G LTE network included real-time communications throughout the mine, a safer workplace, more efficient operational activities, and more sustainable mining.

Only robust wireless connectivity can handle the massive amounts of data and voice communications that are mission critical to smart mining. A 5G-ready private cellular network introduces the high-speed connectivity, low latency, and high performance, optimized for the Internet of Things (IoT), required in the high-density device environment of a mine.

Ericsson’s connectivity solutions for the mining industry have enabled significant productivity improvements and revealed business value for both the mining industry and mobile telecommunications service providers.

As we are seeing in the oil and gas sector as well as in the mining sector globally, we expect secure and reliable connectivity with 4G and 5G to drive a strong wave of digitalization in India as well.

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