Cell Phone Signal Boosters For The Mining Industry
- 12 Oct, 2022
Many mining corporations face cellular connectivity challenges throughout the entire mining process – from city-based company offices, to extracting minerals from the earth. This leads to insufficient communication, which not only affects productivity, efficiency, and the bottom line, but also worker safety.
Cell phone signal boosters, also known as cellular phone repeaters or amplifiers, can help boost cellular signals through much of the mining process, improve the use of mobile technologies, and work alongside other communication systems, like WiFi and radios, to further enhance communication and productivity across all channels.
Our amplifier systems are ICASA-approved RF enhancing devices designed to augment 3G, 4G, and LTE signals inside commercial buildings and vehicles, as well as improve IoT & M2M communication. They also work with ALL cellular-compatible mobile devices (iPhones, Androids, iPads, tablets, mobile hotspots, etc.) across ALL SA Networks (Vodacom, MTN, Cell C and Telkom). With that being said, let’s take a look at how signal boosters can benefit your mining activities.
How Better Cellular Benefits the Mining Industry
City-Based Mining Corporate Offices
One would think that in the city, where there are plenty of cell towers nearby, mobile communication would be a breeze. Most of the time, that’s the case outside, but once you step foot inside headquarters, coverage is limited to non-existent. This is because of building material blocking signal waves from entering and tall structures interfering with the signal.
Cellular coverage is critical inside corporate offices to remain in constant communication with engineers, geoscientists, coordinators, finance specialists, supervisors, and managers. You and your team will know everything there is to know about all current and future mining projects without delay in communication.
Cellular amplifiers are designed to bypass cell signal challenges to enhance in-building coverage – significantly reducing or eliminating dropped calls, unsent text messages, and slow data speeds in specific areas or the whole building. As a result, the productivity of every department increases, and projects can be executed effectively and efficiently.
Surface and Underground Mines
Reliable cellular signal on the mines is especially important. Employees need to have a reliable way of contacting their families, as well as co-workers. Managers and supervisors need a strong connection to send and receive updates. Site visitors need consistent reception to contact corporate (if needed) and use work-based mobile applications. But most importantly, cell signal is 100% essential during emergencies.
Since mining projects are usually carried out in areas with rocky terrain and quite a distance away from cell towers, reliable cellular reception can be challenging at times. Signal boosters use powerful outdoor antennas (Omni or Yagi antennas) that can communicate with distant cell towers and powerful signal amplifiers designed to boost weak signal. Keep in mind, though, that signal boosters DO NOT work outdoors, only in enclosed spaces.
On the surface, signal boosters can be installed on any building, such as processing facilities, employee housing facilities, machine garages, cafeterias, warehouses, offices, and anywhere you need improved coverage. The problem with these facilities is that they tend to be signal dead zones because of the high-grade metal used to build them for the protection of employees and assets. Via coaxial cables, signal boosters can bypass any building material blocking the signal without affecting the integrity of the building. A system of indoor antennas will broadcast the boosted signal throughout for employees to use while performing their daily operations or taking a break.
Cellular service is difficult to achieve underground because of the labyrinthian layout and strict regulations. Depending on what is being extracted (coal, copper, iron, etc.), electromagnetic static caused by cell phones can be a safety risk. In these situations, signal boosters cannot be used to improve coverage through the whole mine, just isolated areas that don’t impose a risk.
Plus, improved cellular coverage on the surface and underground allows mining companies to have additional two-way communication methods, in addition to radios and WiFi, in the event of an accident – giving your company an edge when it comes to accident-response plans.
With more mining companies turning to mobile phones and mobile technology to mitigate safety risks, improve strategy and productivity, lower operational costs, and for better ore recovery, WiFi and cellular are needed on-site to achieve desired results. Smartphones help all employees relay information quickly, and apps digitalize mining processing operations, thus improving productivity and maximizing every employees’ time.
It’s no secret these mobile technologies work offline and could work in environments with poor quality or non-existent signal. However, certain features require mobile data to download and upload crucial information. When recording information in areas with poor cell coverage, the data will not be available on the cloud till cellular signal is available, preventing corporate, supervisors, and co-workers from seeing real-time data. With cell phone signal boosters, everybody on the site will have access to reliable cell coverage wherever needed for the constant uptime of data sharing.
Personal and Company Vehicles, including Heavy-Duty Machinery
Cellular and WiFi signals can only travel so far, meaning mobile communication and application access can be limited while driving company vehicles or heavy-duty vehicles on the field where cell service may be poor. Phone calls are likely to be missed or dropped and important data tools will not be accessible, potentially decreasing daily workflow.
In addition, many mining companies are starting to utilize fleet tracking tools on heavy equipment for early maintenance detection and productivity tracking. It helps to promptly schedule services and repairs before the machines break down, which interferes with productivity. In the long run, they also cut costs. These tools need a wireless connection to provide the drivers and maintenance department real-time data. In areas with poor coverage, the tracking device will store data but will be unable to send it to the cloud.
Vehicle signal boosters can be installed on company vehicles, personal trucks, backhoes, bulldozers, excavators, and any vehicle on-site to improve cellular coverage inside the cabin for all mobile devices. They use powerful, heavy-duty, OTR (Over the Road) outdoor antennas to capture the existing weak outside signal. The signal is sent to the amplifier for boosting and broadcasted into the cabin by a low profile, out of the way, inside antenna.
With enhanced 4G LTE, and 3G signals, all drivers will have a reliable way of staying connected, up-to-date information can easily be downloaded and uploaded from work-based applications whenever needed, and machine tracking devices will constantly upload real-time statistics to the cloud. As a result, daily workflow productivity will increase dramatically.
Recommended Cellular Signal Amplifiers for the Mining Industry
All cell phone signal amplifiers are scalable, meaning that they can be professionally designed to meet your unique needs - every mining site is different with multiple facilities of different sizes. We will help you determine how many antennas you’ll need, and which amplifier will provide you with the best results for spot coverage or whole-building coverage. In general, the following tend to be the best building and vehicle amplifiers by Wilson Electronics for the mining industry.
Best Professional Signal Booster
BUY THIS CELLULAR REPEATER IF:
- You have a very large office building or commercial space over 5000m².
- You are seeking a commercial signal booster with remote monitoring and cloud capabilities.
- Best for large buildings on mining sites with weak outside signal or corporate offices in the city with weak outside signal.
The WilsonPro A8000 is a powerful industrial grade cell phone repeater and a cost-effective alternative to large scale Active DAS solutions. It costs a fraction of the price and will boost all major South African networks. It has many features, such as four independently controlled indoor antenna ports, and three outdoor antenna ports to target multiple network towers simultaneously. This commercial grade amplifier also has remote cloud monitoring capabilities. It can cover up to 8000m² if you have perfect outside signal. In most situation, we see about 4000m² to 6000m² coverage in poor signal conditions.
Best for Remote Mining Operations
BUY THIS CELL PHONE SIGNAL BOOSTER IF:
- Best for mid-sized buildings on mining sites or corporate offices in the city with weak outside signal.
The WilsonPro A1000 is our most powerful cellular repeater for mid-sized mining buildings and corporate offices. It can cover up to 1000m² with perfect outside signal. Most people will get between 450m² and 650m² though.
If your outside signal is strong enough, this unit allows splitting signal into additional areas/floors of your home or office. It has many different antenna options too. The A1000 can be paired with omnidirectional antennas for cities, yagi directional antennas for more remote areas; dome antennas for drop tile ceilings and wall mount panel antennas for buildings with concrete slabs. It is strong enough to power many indoor antennas. This is a good option if your home or office has several floors or has a very complicated layout.
Bolton Technical Mobile Signal Trailer
BUY THIS CELL PHONE SIGNAL BOOSTER IF:
- You need a complete mobile cell phone signal booster trailer that meets the demand of boosting signal outdoors.
The Bolton Mobile Signal Trailer (BMST) is a fully solar powered unit that is easy deployed in various off the grid locations in industries such as mining, agriculture, construction . The unit is also Ideal for deploying during religious events, school or sporting events and more.
The BMST is fully capable of running for extended periods of time on its powerful solar panels.
The BMST has a unique oscillation shield, designed to stop signal feedback between the receiving and broadcasting antennas.
Deploy the Mobile Signal Trailer in an outdoor area, for improved signal at large scale events such as church gatherings, festivals or sport gatherings. The Mobile signal trailer provides up to 70 dB gain in outside environments.
Best Vehicle & Heavy-Duty Machinery Amplifier
weBoost Drive AM100-Pro
BUY THIS CELL PHONE SIGNAL BOOSTER IF:
- You want to stay connected on remote roads and mining sites.
- You want to boost signal for multiple mobile devices.
The weBoost AM100-Pro Drive is the only tri-band cellular repeater for vehicles in South Africa. It works in mining vehicles, cars, SUVs, trucks, bakkies, caravans, fleet vehicles, boats, yachts, and more. This mobile repeater has a lot of options. You can get a hardwire or AC power supply. It can use an OTR antenna for trucks and Caravans, or an inside antenna for a boat. It boosts up to four vehicle cell devices at once. It has high uplink power, so it will work on very remote roads too.
Who are You, and How Can You Help Me?
We’re Bolton Technical, and we’re South Africa's leading cell phone signal booster company. Depending on the size, scope, and situation, our experts can tailor a custom solution for you in time, under budget, and with a professional installation.
Services we provide:
- Consultation adhering to your requirements and budgets.
- Floor plan analysis with detailed heatmaps & coverage expectations.
- Equipment selection from only the best.
- Site survey from certified wireless technicians.
- Professional cell phone signal booster installation & expert project management.
- Better signal or industry-leading 30 money-back guaranteed. No questions asked.
- Lifetime technical support and a 1-year warranty for all products.
For more information on how our services have helped other businesses, check out our case studies.