Wireless solutions provider Comsol, a Convergence Partners investee, started the R2-million installation of its new wireless multiservice wide-area network (WAN) solution at ferrochrome producer Samancor Chrome’s project sites, in Mpumalanga and the North West, in September.
Comsol chief commercial officer Darren Morgan tells Mining Weekly that the contract entails the installation of customised carrier-class high-speed wireless links to connect Samancor Chrome’s different sites.
“We will connect all the sites over hundreds of kilometres, using wireless circuits through a series of repeat sites. Instead of using cable infrastructure, we are using wireless point-to-point technology,” he explains.
Radio links are supplied to Samancor Chrome’s critical sites, which include Tubatse Ferrochrome, at Steelpoort, Ferrometals, at Witbank, Middelburg Ferrochrome, at Middelburg, Western Chrome Mines’ Mooinooi and Millsell operations, located at Mooinooi and just outside of Rustenburg respectively, as well as the company’s head office in Sandton, Gauteng.
Phase 1 of the project connected the Steelpoort, Middelburg and Witbank sites with 25 Mb/s radio links. Middelburg is the main hub, as all the centralised applications and systems applications and products are hosted there.
Morgan says the new managed WAN service is crucial to Samancor Chrome, as the company runs centralised systems and, more specifically, a centralised financial system.
“These systems are fully dependent on the capacity and quality of the WAN connectivity. Any disruption to the WAN connectivity leads to the centralised systems shutting down,” he adds.
Further, Morgan says that 48 V power backup systems have been installed at some repeat sites and the radio-frequency hardware is about 50% complete. He expects the installation project to be completed in October.
“This system will assist in improving communication between sites, which will contribute significantly to process efficiency and transparency, as faulty areas will be more easily identified,” he states.
Morgan says Comsol aims to assist several mining houses, including Anglo American, Kumba Iron Ore and Exxaro, with various wireless control solutions.
“We are also in the process of rolling out an extensive Layer-2 access network using the Comsol owned national 28 Ghz spectrum. This will provide high-capacity carrier-of-carriers access services to our partners,” he adds.
Further, he states that the company’s outlook for the future is optimistic, owing to the continued pressure on the general South African telecommunications environment to provide higher capacity and more services. Morgan believes this will ensure that Comsol’s solutions remain relevant.
Tags: cable, circuits, communication, Comsol, connectivity, Darren Morgan, efficiency, ferrochrome, infrastructure, installation, kilometres, link, Radio, Samancor Chrome, spectrum, Technology, WAN, Wireless« Back