World’s largest underground mine gets mobile connectivity

Telia Company has installed mobile connectivity in Estonia Mine, the largest underground oil shale mine in the world, improving mining safety and efficiency.

Third generation mobile connectivity with fast data speeds is now available everywhere in the mine where mining activity is occurring. Mobile coverage is available in almost 40 kilometers of the tunnels and connection will remain active even when the mining front moves.

Kirke Saar, CTO at Telia Estonia, explained that mobile connectivity in a mine is a unique solution in Estonia.
“We started testing in 2015 and achieved excellent results, which today enables us to build a system for the whole mining area. In addition to voice and data services, the system includes positioning of employees and machinery, which is important in terms of occupational safety.”

The project will have a notable effect on the mine’s operations.
“Before having access to mobile network, sending out information on the current state of mining, occupational safety, and condition of devices took a lot of time and it was not possible to react quickly. Today, we can act immediately when the need arises. Thus, work processes become more efficient, and occupational safety improves,“ explained Ahti Puur, CEO at Enefit Kaevandused, who operates the mine.

About the Estonia mine 
The mine is located in Ida-Viru county. It is known as the largest oil shale mine in the world with 141 km2 of extracting permit area - approximately the same size as the city of Tallinn. In 2016, the mine produced 12.6 million tons of oil shale, which is 65% of Enefit Kaevandused total oil shale production. The Estonia mine employs 1,300 people.