VBX Mining Communication Solutions


The proliferation of IP networks in underground mining has lead to VoIP being the natural next step in communications from the rock face to the boardroom.

VoIP takes geography out of the equation by connecting remote locations and naturally re-routes around failures creating a redundant telecoms system that enables communication even during disasters.

This substantially improves the likelihood of recovering and saving trapped miners by identifying exactly where they are and what medical attention is required. VBX have an open source Asterisk PBX solution specifically designed for the mining environment.

Mining Communication Solutions in SA : The Context

1) SA Mine output approx R195 Billion Rand in 2006 with a total of 450 000 people employed

2) Competition from other emerging markets to keep costs down to stay competitive. SA running “conops” – continuous operations

3) Labour Intensive with very dangerous working conditions, very harsh environment requires specialised equipment

4) Unionised environment which creates a lot of visibility in media for any incident

5) Safety and Security has been in the spotlight over the last couple of years with employers and mining houses being in the receiving end of bad press

Mining Communication and Safety Concerns

1) Safety – Providing better production and improved productivity through communication

2) Miners strike over safety issues and downed tools = lost production owing to shaft stoppages

3) Mine shafts have been closed owing to safety

4) Efficient use of existing infrastructure – cables and plant exist

5) Easy and simple to use – like a phone – not a radio

VBX SIP Platforms

VBX 10


VBX 50


VBX 1000


VBX Handsets

Standard Handsets


Executive Handsets


Ruggedized Wireless Handests


Push To Talk




Fixed/Mobile Convergence through Smartphones


WiFi Handsets


What does VBX provide solutions for?

  • Harsh Environments where there are existing fibre or wireless networks
  • Dispersed environments where communications is needed at the remote site (Long Distances)
  • Remote workers needing to be conferenced in

Why VBX in the mines

  • Runs over existing networks and cabling
  • Simple easy to use system, a phone system, not a radio
  • Easily customizable to meet safety and security requirements:
  • Blast groups: Ring all extensions
  • PIN based dialing for access to other people
  • Has inherent fault tolerance features built in
  • Automatically reroutes around failures
  • VBX is a toolkit – can be customized to meet the customer needs.
  • Flexible solution and Investment protection
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