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NTT adds private LTE/5G support to Albemarle’s Lithium mine

New network will facilitate ‌remote‌ ‌assistance and site surveys ‌to expedite‌ ‌decision making

An aerial view of the Albermarle Lithium Mine showing diggers driving on narrow roads around the edge of a large crater

NTT has teamed with Albemarle to help the speciality chemicals firm deploy a pilot private LTE/5G and Wi-Fi network at its Lithium mine in North Carolina.

Albemarle has mining and manufacturing sites across three continents. As an aftermath of globally-imposed COVID-19 restrictions, visiting the facilities ‌became‌ ‌increasingly difficult, which‌ ‌impacted decision-making and timing substantially.

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The firm is now working with NTT to build a network that would link its global engineers with technicians for remote site surveys and assistance. The use of private LTE/5G will allow Albemarle to streamline its hybrid working process, in addition to reducing ‌global travel requirements and expenses.

NTT’s global connectivity services will also support wireless networking at Albemarle’s manufacturing sites.

“To enable collaboration and digital applications at our mining and processing sites, we require widespread, high-speed connectivity,” said Chuck Holley, global manager of IT network infrastructure at Albemarle. 

“A private LTE/5G network is a great way we can do this cost-effectively, and NTT was our first choice to pilot a design, prove the technology and show the value. With a private LTE/5G network, we’re able to continue to seek out innovative solutions to some of our most pressing challenges,” added Holley.

Albemarle plans to expand the private 5G network beyond Kings Mountain following the pilot.

“We’re incredibly proud to be partnering and consulting with Albemarle on this innovative pilot,” commented Parm Sandhu, VP of enterprise 5G products and services at NTT. 

“A private LTE/5G network will continue to transform business outcomes in mission-critical environments for Albemarle, and this is just the start of their journey. We look forward to working closely with the manufacturer as it continues to digitally transform its business for the future.”

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