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Volvo CE to pilot pioneering 5G technology

Volvo remote-controlled wheel loader

Company will be among the first in the world to trial next-generation mobile technology

VOLVO Construction Equipment will be among the first in the world to trial 5G mobile technology as part of a unique collaboration with mobile operator Telia Company.

The Telia journey to 5G partnership programme represents a new era of digital innovation and aims to provide a select group of industry partners with an innovative platform to develop their own technologies.

For Volvo CE, this means pushing the boundaries for autonomous machines and developing site solutions that increase safety, productivity and uptime.

Volvo CE will be in the enviable position in the global construction equipment industry of being able to test 5G-enabled technologies at a test site in Eskilstuna, Sweden – potentially years ahead of 5G becoming available to the wider public.

Only a handful of companies from across the Nordic countries – and from a range of different industries – will be chosen to take part in the two-year programme. It is a joint collaboration between Telia with mobile telecoms firm Ericsson as their technology partner.

Telia’s chief technology officer, Mats Lundbäck, announced the launch of the programme at the 5G World Congress in London today (Wednesday 13 June).

Patrik Lundblad, Volvo CE’s senior vice-president of technology, said: ‘The advantages of a faster, more reliable 5G network represent a huge step forward in connectivity.

‘Within the construction industry it opens up great potential for processing mobile data and will inevitably impact the ways in which our machines communicate and interact remotely.

‘To be at the forefront of this digital revolution and collaborate on developing new technologies is a game-changer for Volvo CE.’

The new-generation mobile network is expected to deliver transfer speeds considerably faster than the current 4G network – and is therefore capable of transporting huge amounts of data in far less time.

Volvo CE will test its potential by creating a local cellular network at their facility in Eskilstuna and use it to expand their competences and develop their ongoing research into autonomous technology.

Calle Skillsäter, Volvo CE’s technical specialist for connected machines, said: ‘5G allows us to transport data in ways that we could only ever dream about and can increase the possibilities for autonomous and remote-controlled machines in our future.

‘By eliminating the potential safety hazards and downtime associated with operations such as mining, we can move closer to fulfilling our ambitions to deliver zero emissions, zero accidents and zero unplanned stops.’

This is not the first time Volvo CE have partnered with Telia and Ericsson. The Swedish companies also collaborated on an award-winning digital mining project last year.

The Pilot for Industrial Mobile Communication in Mining (PIMM), which was named Digitalization Project of the Year at the Telecom Gala last February, saw the testing of a concept remote-control wheel loader capable of operating more than 1,312ft underground (pictured above).

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