KPN is testing 5G applications in different areas including agriculture, urban environments and ports
Chinese vendor ZTE has worked with Dutch telecom operator KPN to successfully complete a test of the first 5G application for precision agriculture on an experimental farm in Drenthe, the Netherlands.
ZTE said that the precision agriculture test was carried out in cooperation with the Province of Drenthe, Wageningen University & Research, Dronehub GAE Foundation, Agrifac and Innovation Veenkoloniën.
The 5G test used a camera drone to make accurate images of a potato cultivation field, ZTE said. Afterwards, through a 5G mobile connection, these images were processed and sent to an agricultural machine, which could then dose the proper protection to the potato crop in a very precise way on a real-time basis, according to the company.
“Agriculture is expected to be one of the most important fields of 5G applications. Thanks to 5G technology, precision agriculture is becoming more accessible to agricultural companies, and basically, they can respond instantly to developments on land. Not only will this save the costs of the farmers on their crop protection, which also benefits the environment, but it is to be expected that this will also increase the profits on their land because they will have more real-time direct control over their crops.” said Tom Poelhekken, CTO at KPN.
In Drenthe, the 5G test also adopted new technology in an existing agricultural process of control of deciduous crops that grow between potato plants. A camera drone scans the field with a multi-spectral camera. Over a mobile connection with 5G characteristics, the 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, ZTE said.
This process requires large bandwidth for its upload, for which the current 4G networks are not sufficient. During the test in Drenthe, KPN for the first time combined various frequency bands so that the images made by the drone could be sent in real-time.
“We are delighted to have been chosen to support KPN in one of its 5G field labs to explore the value of 5G applications. This result demonstrates great innovation power which can be generated from the close collaboration between our teams,” said Patric Bin, CEO of ZTE Netherlands.
KPN is currently testing 5G applications in different sectors including agriculture, ports and the automotive sector. Later this year, KPN will also hold the first 5G tests in Amsterdam in cooperation with the City of Amsterdam and Nokia. During these trials, KPN is going to test various 5G applications in Amsterdam’s Zuidoost district. In these tests, massive MIMO technology will be used to provide extreme capacity in busy areas, the European carrier said.
In association with Huawei, KPN will also investigate network slicing in the Port of Rotterdam. KPN also wants to study the possibility of using virtual reality for industrial applications in the port.
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