MTN Business, Huawei Technologies South Africa, Miniandante Mining Company and Minetec Smart Mining have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) to offer 5G technologies equipment and connectivity. The agreement will allow MTN Business and Huawei to provide 5G equipment and connectivity and aims to provide high-speed 5G broadband access and security assurance throughout the mining areas.

The statement said: “Once complete, the mining participants will mark a significant step forward in the digital transformation of the local mining industry. It will effectively demonstrate how several emerging technologies can be combined with 5G to improve functions across the mines, including ore screening, mining equipment automation, transmission equipment automation and underground safety.”

Wanda Matandela, Chief Enterprise Officer at MTN Business, said: “The mining industry is at the crossroads of significant technological changes. At MTN Business, we are excited to be playing a leading role in this space by using our world-class network and systems to promote the growth and sustainability of our enterprise customers. We have invested over ZAR50 billion in modernising our network for the past five years; this investment has put MTN in a greater position to offer cutting-edge, faster and seamless connectivity to its customers. The partnership with mining companies will see all parties involved reaping the benefits of our best network.”

MTN said this advancement will become increasingly important as South Africa looks to remain competitive in the global mineral and resources space. “This partnership is a game-changer that will transform old mining processes. As the world moves towards fourth and fifth industrial revolutions, technologies such as 5G will play a crucial part in ensuring that companies gain a competitive edge in the market.”

“As a global leader in 5G, Huawei is proud to be part of this pioneering partnership with MTN, Miniandante Mining and Minetec Smart Mining to bring the true benefit of digital solutions to the mining sector,” says Huawei SA CEO, Spawn Fan. “5G connectivity will make the South African mining sector globally competitive. It is an enabler for digital transformation, improving operational efficiency and mine safety and security. Another key differentiator is that 5G allows for AI-based real-time data analytics, a key to smart mining.”

The application of digital technologies, both in their current form and in future digital forms such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics and the internet of things (IOT) is increasingly pivotal to mining success. “Information technology drives innovation and innovation is the path to business success. Business innovation has the same impact that steam had on the industrial revolution. In a more complex and digital environment today, it’s hard to imagine any business that has not benefitted from the digital revolution. Artificial intelligence (AI) is arguably the most exciting field within computing and combined with the internet of things (IOT). A digital era has opened up a world of endless possibilities and opportunities, businesses can maximise efficiency and work smarter with more and more digital solutions available in the market.”

MTN says the players in the space that understand that and use these technologies as enablers are the ones most likely to thrive going forward. “Information technology fosters innovation in business. Innovation results in smarter apps, improved data storage, faster processing and wider information distribution. Innovation makes businesses run more efficiently, increases value, enhances quality and boosts productivity in many companies globally. The digital era has not only changed how we work, but it has also opened up new opportunities for young people in the ICT space and created more jobs. The future has finally arrived and the speed of operating in this new environment has challenged many industries as well. MTN Business has joined the global evolution and has become a part of the technological solutions the world needs to advance more and more business in South Africa for them to thrive in a challenging economy.”

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