China's largest hard coal producer Yangquan Coal Industry Group has inked a framework agreement with China Mobile and Huawei on promoting 5G-based intelligent mining.
The new alliance, based on their advantages in 5G and underground mining, is expected to explore the applications of the 5G network in coal mine communication, management, safety production and monitoring, said Wang Yongge, general manager of the mining group.
Shanxi has more than 900 coal mines and produces about 900 million tons of coal annually, with some 300,000 coal miners working long hours underground.
"The use of 5G technology in underground application scenarios will bring effective improvements to safety production and the operating environment of coal miners," Wang added.
Yankuang Group, a Shandong-based mining conglomerate, previously set up a joint lab with China Unicom and ZTE to develop 5G and intelligent mining.
Open-pit coal mines are also keeping up with the trend by integrating GPS, facial recognition, big data and other technologies, as 5G-powered tramcars went into service in a coal mine in north China's Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, assisting the drivers to offload without blind spots.
Hong Fangming, president of Huawei Cloud China, said the new engines for corporate innovation brought by cloud computing, artificial intelligence, 5G and other technologies will be crucial for industrial upgrading.