One of the considerations when 5G was specified was for it to be used for industrial applications. Agriculture is one of those applications where is can be applied to industrial scale farming. The factors which make it suitable for this kind of application are
- High device density
- Slicing meaning dedicated resources for the network usage important for control applications
- Low latency
- High bandwidth required for video processing when controlling autonomous machinery
Farming is no longer low tech, a modern farmer is more like the CEO of a medium size company having to manage many different groups including the technology to ensure successful crops and yields
Automated farming with the control of machinery is an obvious application of 5G control technology, where low latency between the machinery and control software with quality guarantees is essential. However we can also imagine the need to monitor the environment using widely deployed sensors with typical IoT use cases and then process the analytics using machine learning and AI. Farmers can increase yields and monitor their operations more closely.
These applications will need to be deployed into the edge of the network near to where the farming action is. The technology required to leverage this will be based on that specified for cloud native applications. Deployed in the same cloud infrastructure as the mobile 5G core to ensure the low latency that is required.
The introduction of 5G and it’s application to industries such as farming presents an opportunity for those prepared to be creative with the combination of agriculture and the next generation mobile technology.