Finnish telecoms giant Nokia has announced the development of enhanced versions of its industrial 5G field-router and XR20 smartphones to allow for their use in hazardous, flammable, explosive and dusty environments.

According to Nokia, the upgraded devices created in collaboration with HMD Global, will allow oil and gas companies to maintain 4.9G and 5G network connectivity across their workforce and machines across sites such as oil drilling platforms, chemical processing plants and dusty mines.

Jaime Laguna, global head of oil and gas and mining for Nokia, said: “Nokia is committed to delivering end-to-end private wireless solutions for enterprises and allowing workers to communicate in the most intuitive, secure and safe ways, especially in demanding hazardous environments. We are pleased to enhance our portfolio of ruggedized devices to meet these specific industry demands for safe connectivity.”

Following the enhancements made by HMD Global, the ruggedized Nokia XR20 has added applications including Nokia Team Comms and Group Communications so workers can interact using push-to-talk and video. Alongside this, Nokia’s 5G field-routers are now equipped with integrated enclosures to allow oil and gas companies to use the industrial field-routers to connect autonomous vehicles in hazardous areas or collect environmental and other types of data from legacy industrial machines connected by field-routers over a private wireless network.

Sebastian Ulrich, managing director of global enterprise business for HMD Global, said: “We are looking forward to working closely with Nokia to provide end to end solutions in demanding hazardous environments. The Nokia XR20 Industrial edition allows vital and secure communication for workers in these remote locations.”

Last year, Nokia deployed a new standalone (SA) 5G private network across Europe’s largest gold mine. The deployment marks a first full 5G SA network deployment in a gold mine with Nokia having previously trialled private 5G network equipment in mines in Brazil and Chile and Ericsson recently teaming with MTS to deploy a private network at Russia’s largest iron ore mining and processing plant, JSC Karelsky Okatysh.

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Author: Richard Hook