Russian mobile operator Beeline, controlled by the Veon Group, has launched a pilot 5G area in a coal quarry of the Suek mining company in the town of Chernogorsk in the Republic of Khakasia. A 1.5 km fragment of the 5G network includes two bi-sectoral 5G (gNodeB) base stations working non-standalone and using a 100 MHZ band. The pilot project will last for several weeks.
The network enables the management of pilotless lorries working in the quarry on the industrial WiFi/MESH network. 5G CPE (Customer Premises Equipment) from TD Tech, a subsidiary of Huawei, are installed on the lorries. The devices are based on Huawei Balong 5000 chipsets.
The operator has also completed the upgrade of its LTE network in the city and region of St Petersburg. Since 2017, 2,000 new LTE base stations have been built there, as well as 1,600 3G and GSM base stations. Frequencies have been re-farmed on the 1,800 MHz band and 1,800 MHz and 2,600 MHz bands have been aggregated.
Around 96 percent of the operator's subscribers live under coverage of the LTE network in the region.
Investment in the upgrade totaled RUB 3.7 billion.