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Secure radios: the bedrock of mining safety

A kilometre or more below ground. Long tunnels. No cell phone reception. This is a typical working environment of a miner. How can they communicate?


Harsh conditions demand a capable and robust communications solution, to match the miners that will use it. What do TETRA radio communication systems have to deliver to be up to the job? These are the 6 key requirements for secure radio communications in the mining industry. 

1.  Crystal clear voice

Miners have to work in a noisy environment. They need radios that provide good voice quality. TETRA radios also have to filter the background noise.

2.  Robust radios

Miners often need to crawl through tunnels that may only be half a meter high. They are exposed to dust, mud, and extreme temperatures. This is a challenging environment and it represents a huge danger for mine workers.

Mine workers need radios that are designed for a hazardous environment.


3.  Quick call for help

When there is imminent danger, the red emergency button on the TETRA radio can make a difference between life and death. Pushing the button must transmit an alert and the radio’s location automatically.

4.  Underground radio coverage

Radio communication service across the whole mine is needed. The Direct Mode Operation (DMO) feature in the TETRA radios must be able to provide extensive underground radio coverage.

5.  One-to-one and one-to-many calls

Mine workers need the possibility to make either individual or group calls. The DMO mode has to enable both. And when the dispatcher can create the predefined talk groups dynamically over the air during field operations, it saves the cost of laying cables.

6.  Speaking of dispatchers

The radios have to have a reliable and flexible connectivity and dispatching solution between the central admin office and remote offices. The ideal TETRA radios support transportation tracking (AVL) and telemetry applications allowing efficient fleet management. TETRA tracking can be used to locate workers so they can be warned before a scheduled explosion.

Meeting the requirements

TETRA radios and systems from Airbus meet the extreme requirements. They offer the features that are critical for the mining industry. Reliability, even under extreme conditions, as well as secure communications, help ensure miners’ safety. Functions like the red emergency button and TETRA broadcast calls can be real life savers.

Consistently good voice quality and easy and quick usage through the push-to talk button means miners can readily exchange the information they need. Individual and group calls on separated frequencies give easier management of different work groups while allowing co-operation between them.

Designed for mines

TETRA radio communication systems from Airbus offer significant benefits to the mining industry. Several mines around the world rely on these systems to support their operations. For example:

  • Veladero gold mine in Argentina
  • Spence copper mine in Chile
  • Rheinbraun mines in Germany.

And if you want to secure your investments and adopt a hybrid TETRA and broadband solution, it is possible. The hybrid model means that your company can continue with a TETRA network for mission-critical voice and data and introduce mobile broadband services step-by-step. Read more about adopting TETRA and LTE from this Executive Briefing:


The mining of minerals and metals is fundamental to modern society. The rapidly rising population in China and other Asian countries and the continuing requirements of the developed world have created an enormous demand for minerals and metals. Meeting this need means creating a good working environment in the mining industry, through reliable and safe communication between the employees and good fleet management.