Indonesian President Jokowi inaugurates Telkomsel 5G Mining network at Freeport

President Joko Widodo (Jokowi) has inaugurated the launch of 5G Mining technology in collaboration with PT Freeport Indonesia (PTFI) with PT Telekomunikasi Selular (Telkomsel) in Tembagapura, Mimik Regency in Papua, as reported in Indonesian business publication The application of 5G Mining technology, which is part of PTFI’s smart-mining solution, is the first application of 5G technology in the Southeast Asian mining industry.

The report said the launch of 5G Mining was also attended by Minister of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN) Erick Thohir, Minister of Investment/Head of BKPM Bahlil Lahadalia, Secretary of State Pramono Anung, and President Director of Telkomsel Hendri Mulya Syam. President Jokowi in his speech conveyed the importance of the role of technological innovation to advance the domestic mining industry, as well as the importance of collaboration between stakeholders in creating added value for the country.

He stated: “The Indonesian government appreciates PTFI as a pioneer in implementing 5G for the mining sector in Southeast Asia.” Jokowi added that PTFI and Telkomsel have created an ecosystem that is ready to face the challenges of mining development in the digitalisation era. This also further confirms PTFI’s position as one of the world-class mining companies in Indonesia that has transformed technology through 5G Mining innovation and will be able to provide added value to the country through the advancement of the mining industry.

In addition, the PTFI-Telkomsel collaboration also enhances human resource skills through the transfer of technology and knowledge. PT Freeport Indonesia’s commitment to innovate to support safe and sustainable mining activities was well received by the Minister of State-Owned Enterprises, Erick Thohir. According to Erick, PTFI as part of the holding of the state mining company, MIND ID, also supports the efforts to digitise SOEs to create new value. The implementation of PTFI’s 5G Mining marks a step in Indonesia’s development to continue moving towards renewal and innovation for the better.

“In addition to equal distribution of digital access throughout the archipelago, which is part of the main goal of the Ministry of SOEs, we are optimistic that this transformation step will have even more positive impacts,” said Thohir. He explained that in various studies in a number of countries that have implemented the 5G Mining system, productivity can increase by 25%, cost savings by 40%, and energy savings by 20%. “We are not only downstreaming the mine but also trying to innovate the mining industry as a whole. One of them is through 5G Mining,”

PTFI President Director Tony Wenas said in general, 5G networks have advantages in terms of speed, signal strength, latency, data security, and device intelligence. The network will work through multiple-input and multiple-output, thus allowing more space for user devices to get higher data rates. The implementation of 5G Mining technology at PTFI has been through infrastructure renewal, network strengthening, and platform development for mobile edge computing.

Thus, 5G Mining technology at PTFI can control various machines and vehicles in underground mines remotely, including from above the ground and move various devices automatically. In addition, 5G technology also allows PTFI to monitor and prevent the risk of work accidents through optimising the use of cameras connected to artificial intelligence. Furthermore, a connected network (Hyperconnected Network) combined with Telkomsel Private Network and Edge Computing can provide more use of artificial intelligence for companies, improve work safety at PTFI, while encouraging the sustainability of efficient and effective mining operations.

Prior to its launch, 5G Mining technology at PTFI’s mines has gone through the network verification and testing phase to ensure that the technology can support PTFI’s operational activities, particularly in the development of underground mines. “Mining development at a depth of more than 1,500 m below ground level poses a high safety risk for employees and other company assets, so it requires careful planning, application of the right technology, and qualified human resources. PTFI has implemented Advanced Digital Technology in underground mining operations through the development of a remote control system using WiFi technology since 2006. The presence of new innovations in 5G technology in PTFI’s mining areas will further strengthen PTFI’s strategic position as a leader in the Indonesian mining industry,” said Wenas.

President Director of Telkomsel Hendri Mulya Syam said, after successfully becoming the first digital telecommunications company in Indonesia to deploy 5G networks and services, Telkomsel is now continuing its commitment to strengthening the ecosystem for using 5G technology, which this time was realised with the support of the application of the first 5G Underground Smart Mining technology in the operational environment.