Land mines are often located in the harshest and most challenging environments on the planet. Successful operations demand a reliable network that allows for the real-time transmission of mine data, voice connectivity and corporate networking. The remote communications infrastructure has to be rugged, straightforward to deploy and operate, scalable and cost-effective. Satellite communications delivers a flexible and high performance solution for land mining companies.
Remote communications and terrestrial mining
Land mining companies may be operating just a few mining sites around a small deposit or managing hundreds spread across countries and continents. In either case, the communications needs are very similar. There is the field team at the site, and mining specialists, administrative staff and key managers at the corporate headquarters or field offices. Wherever they are, the whole team needs to communicate as if the remote site is only an extension of the corporate network.
In any sphere of business communication downtime represents a loss of profit. In the mining industry, where time really is money, this is multiplied. Communications outages can mean vital safety data is delayed or important decisions on where to drill cannot be made and executed. Add to this that sites can be constantly expanding, contracting and relocating quickly to new locations and every hour of downtime becomes extremely costly.
Reliable, robust network infrastructures
Commonly, the mining site will be in an area where a physical fibre-based infrastructure is not available. It's not financially viable or desirable for the organisation to lay fibre for last mile connectivity, especially where the longevity of the mining site can't be accurately predicted. In addition, whereas WiFi or WiMAX signals may be appropriate for certain types of intra-site communication, it is frequently not possible to rely on wireless or cellular networks for site-to-site and site-to-office communications.
In this situation, satellite communications becomes more than a viable alternative. It is often the optimum solution for land mining operations. It allows for consistent and flexible coverage across a wide geographic area without building a local physical infrastructure. Installing VSAT satellite antennae means that a site network can be up and running within hours or days. Advances in satellite technology ensure that the network can operate in extreme heat and extreme temperatures at availability rates that a standard fibre network would struggle to emulate.
Satellite and hybrid network solutions
A satellite-based network, more importantly, delivers attractive cost savings by eliminating a great number of the hardware and maintenance costs that often occur in remote areas where it is very easy to underestimate just how extensive the networking requirements are.
By placing the power, flexibility and reliability of satellite communications at the core of a remote networking infrastructure, the mine operator can take advantage of the latest developments in wireless technologies to provide effective on-site systems - in areas such as asset and mine employee management, tele-medicine and site safety and surveillance – that can then provide real-time VSAT connection to the corporate and field offices.
In some instances where the mine is large enough with multiple offices and accommodation areas, the operator can consider creating a hybrid communications network where mission critical communications is conducted over TETRA, on-site voice and data networking is through fibre cabling, on-site telemetrics are conducted via wireless and all off-site communications takes place over the satellite backbone.
- Low cost, high availability networking
- Rapid, robust and reliable VSAT installation and deployment
- A privately owned communications hub infrastructure
- Networks for voice, data, audio/video and mining data and telemetry
- Satellite, wireless, TETRA and hybrid network capabilities
- C and Ku band satellite connections
- Full network design, build, management and maintenance capabilities
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