Sub-Sahara Mining & Industrial Journal
Mining News

Sedna, Globalstar deal keeps African miners connected

In a powerful move to connect and protect mining assets, improve data connectivity, and save lives, Africa-focused industrial IT solutions provider Sedna has partnered with telecom infrastructure powerhouse Globalstar.

Band 53/n53 is a mid-band licensed spectrum resource that Globalstar offers to partners and customers that otherwise would not have access. Spectrum is sorely needed for progress in Africa. In line with demand for faster and more reliable speeds, the 5G variant of Globalstar’s Band 53 is known as n53.

“Demand for wireless data solutions from heavy industrial uses in mines is on the rise, but access to reliable always-on solutions is a challenge,” says Anton Fester, Sedna managing director.

“Access to reliable data and connectivity is an imperative for miners and their managers, as reliance on Wi-Fi alone is not enough, while access to spectrum is a continuous challenge. Globalstar’s terrestrial spectrum offers an immediate solution and we are delighted to be joining forces with a renowned global innovator like Globalstar to bring secure, reliable and state of the art data connectivity solutions to mines across the continent.”

He furthermore describes the deal as “an extremely important and exciting development for Africa’s mining industry.”

“The addition of n53 and 5G status ensures we are in lock-step with the latest digital advances and the Fourth Industrial Revolution as new networks around the world will be built utilising 5G’s advanced technology. There is already a lot of demand for these solutions as spectrum is also critical to the deployment of private LTE solutions on mines, which we are already rolling out.”

Band 53 offers partners secure and reliable connectivity in any environment and utilizing the band allows customers to deploy considerably less access points than when relying on Wi-Fi, leading to superior security, performance and long-term value.

Globalstar vice president of strategy Kyle Pickens says, “We are excited to be working with Sedna to bring Band 53/n53 connectivity to their mining deployments in Africa and beyond. Mining is a critical endeavour for the global economy and ever more important in many of the countries in Africa where Sedna is focused.

“The ever changing landscape make network design difficult and the environment is dangerous adding value to automation. Private wireless networks like we can deploy with Band 53/n53 are great solutions for Sedna’s business and the mining industry.”

Founded in South Africa in 2006, Sedna has rapidly expanded its solutions and innovation to serve mines globally (it has active operations on three continents) with scoping, sourcing, installing, and supporting enabling operational technology (OT) network technologies.

Sedna installed Africa’s first licensed spectrum private LTE (pLTE) network in South Africa as well Africa’s first underground leaky feeder licensed spectrum pLTE network.

“We aim to expand our solutions broadly across the continent. This will include developing adequate use cases to address customer needs. Innovations include automotive solutions through the power of AI, mobile connectivity for sensors, and geofencing for workers’ safety, among many others. The world is truly in the network, and by harnessing these innovations Africa’s heavy industries can thrive, survive and grow,” says Fester.

Sedna continues to expand its trusted partnership eco-system. Last month it strengthened its partnership with Nokia to co-operate on the technological advancement and development of Africa’s mining sector. It is now Nokia’s main system integrator for Africa in mining and other industrial applications.

“Our aim is to be a next-generation solutions provider to mines and other heavy industries across Africa. Technology has the power to ensure Africa’s growth trajectory is accelerated and with partners like Globalstar, we will continue to drive this growth with tailored, cutting edge solutions,” concludes Fester.

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