ZTE said it has worked with KPN to successfully complete the test of the first 5G application for Precision Agriculture on experimental farm 't Kompas, Drenthe, The Netherlands.
The test employs a camera drone to make very accurate images of a potato cultivation field. Afterwards, through a mobile connection with 5G characteristics, these images are processed and sent to an agricultural machine, which then basically doses the proper protection to the potato crop in a very precise way on a real-time basis. The test greatly enhances the process period - from about two days to just two hours in the 5G Field Lab.
In addition to a higher speed, 5G explicitly focuses on more flexibility, shorter reaction time and higher reliability. In Drenthe, the test adopts new technology in an existing agricultural process of control of deciduous crops that grows between potato plants. A camera drone scans the field with a multi-spectral camera. Thanks to the mobile connection with 5G characteristics, the large data files can be immediately sent and processed in a task card for the agricultural machine which can then work very precisely on the field. This process requires large bandwidth for its upload, for which the current 4G networks are not sufficient. During the test in Drenthe, KPN has for the first time combined various frequency bands (uplink carrier aggregation) so that the images made by the drone can be sent in real-time.
The test in Drenthe is part of four different field labs for 5G applications, specifically, in agriculture, urban areas, harbor area, and the automotive sector. In these field labs, KPN investigates together with customers and several technology partners how 5G can optimize business processes and improve the customer experience. Later this year, KPN will also hold the first 5G tests in Amsterdam Zuidoost, the Rotterdam Port and on a highway near Helmond.