China’s coal mining industry implement 5G technologies in Yangquan Coal Mine.
China’s largest hard coal producer Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) Co.,…
China’s largest hard coal producer Yangquan Coal Industry (Group) Co., Ltd. in Shanxi Province has finished building a 5G network in one of its mines, heralding the coming of 5G era of the nation’s cold industry and paving the way for smart mining based on 5G technologies.
The 5G network in Yangquan’s subsidiary, Xinyuan, is the country’s first commercial 5G service under a coal mine shaft. It is constructed in partnership with China Mobile and Huawei.
The deputy manager of Xinyuan, Wang Haigang, stated that the 5G network had been in stable operation for a week after its launch and optimization.
With the integrated 5G coverage, the data upload rate is over 800Mbps, and the transmission latency is less than 20 milliseconds in the mine, enabling a variety of applications such as high-definition audio and video communications and intelligent remote control of equipment to free employees from the hazardous workplace, according to Yu Beijian, deputy general manager of Yangquan Coal Industry Group.
Yu said coal mines are usually hundreds of meters deep without telecommunications signals underground, and specialists have tackled technological problems to build the 5G network in the mine shaft, which has complicated underground conditions.
With the 5G network in operation, the mine is expected to reduce its labor force in one underground working team from over 170 to about 90 while maintaining the coal output, Wang said, adding that Xinyuan hopes to raise the annual output from 3 million tonnes to 5 million tonnes.
Yu said the firm had planned further to enhance the 5G application scenarios with an objective to build a “smart mine” in the future.
Yangquan Coal Industry Group is not the only one in embracing new modern technology. China’s traditional coal mine firms are increasingly merging onto the 5G “expressway.”
Yankuang Group, a mining conglomerate in eastern China’s Shandong Province, has set up a joint lab with China Unicom and Chinese telecom equipment maker ZTE to develop 5G and intelligent mining in areas including smart transportation and drone patrol.
Kailuan Group in northern China’s Hebei Province has won a contract with China Telecom on 5G technology application development, while Shanxi Coking Coal Group has signed with the Shanxi branch of China Unicom on leasing 5G facilities.
Liu Feng, vice-chairman of the China National Coal Association, said that China currently has over 5,000 coal mines, which have built more than 200 intelligent mining platforms facilitated with automatic equipment.
The “new infrastructure” of the 5G network structure in coal mines will lead to an elevation in performance, efficiency, and energy reform and greatly transform the traditional development setting in the coal sector, Liu stated.