Nokia to deploy private network for lithium mine operation in Brazil

Nokia and Alcon have been drafted by Sigma Lithium to set up what it says is the first private LTE wireless campus network in the Americas to support the mining of lithium.

Andrew Wooden

May 10, 2024

2 Min Read

Nokia and Alcon will roll out the private LTE network to support 200 Sigma employees and add ‘multiple innovative mining applications’ designed to boost productivity and operational efficiency.

Based on Nokia Digital Automation Cloud (Nokia DAC), the network will allow Sigma to deploy ‘robust dedicated bandwidth and throughput across its sites’, as it looks to ratchet up its operations.  This will involve connecting workers with ruggedized devices, industrial edge computing and a catalogue of ecosystem-neutral applications. It will also enable the use of specialised mining apps in the categories of dispatch, push-to-talk and push-to-video, and smart badge systems.

Lithium is key to the manufacture of batteries for electric vehicles, solar energy storage, electronic devices. We’re told in the release that Sigma produced record amounts of ‘Triple Zero Green Lithium’ at its Brazil plant in 2023, and its ‘Quintuple Zero Green Lithium’ was recognized at COP28 as the most sustainable lithium in the world.

“At Sigma, we are dedicated to powering the next generation of EVs in the most sustainable manner,” Marcelo Marinho, Chief Operating Officer at Sigma Lithium. “We are very excited to work with Nokia and Alcon to enhance worker safety and efficiency while continuing to expand our exploration of a metal critical to the world’s energy transition.”

David de Lancelloti, Vice President Enterprise Campus Edge Business at Nokia added: “This exciting collaboration with Alcon will bring robust connectivity to world-class lithium mining leader Sigma Lithium and accelerate digitalization. Dedicated, mission-critical connectivity connecting industrial devices and applications is at the heart of revolutionizing the way the mining sector operates – keeping employees safe and enabling high-performance operations that deliver results.”

According to a report by Dell’Oro Group last month, full-year private wireless RAN revenues jumped by around 40% in 2023, though it slowed in Q4 YoY. In terms of the technology mix, 5G is dominating in China, while LTE is dominating outside of China. Dell’Oro expects private 5G RAN revenues to reach the $1 billion to $2 billion range by 2028.

About the Author(s)

Andrew Wooden

Andrew joins on the back of an extensive career in tech journalism and content strategy.

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