A nectarine farm in Albatàrrec (Lleida) has been the first field connected with 5G in Spain. This is a pioneering initiative and an example of how 5G connectivity can contribute to improving agricultural productivity in rural areas.
Partners: Department of Digital Policies and Public Administration (Generalitat de Catalunya), Cisco, AKIS International, Vodafone, and 5G Barcelona
Collaborators: Department of Agriculture, Branch, Fisheries and Food (Generalitat de Catalunya), Lleida County Council and Albatàrrec City Council
Use case: 5G technology for the optimization of the pruning process, key to the improvement of agricultural productivity and the development of the rural sector
Description of technology:
The pilot project consists of a communication system through which an advisory technician can train and guide one or several operators through a solution that allows the analysis of the particularities of each productive zone and the transfer of the best strategy in real-time in a specific way.
This process has been possible thanks, on the one hand, to Vodafone’s 5G antenna installed in the AKIS International experimental farm in Albatàrrec (Lleida), which provides speed to be able to make the connection in real-time and reduces latency to 5 milliseconds in ideal conditions. It also provides sufficient bandwidth to be able to transmit the images from the device to the specialist technician, achieving up to 1GB per second of download speed and multiplying the number of objects connected to the network by 100.
On the other hand, the Cisco® Connected Worker AR solution offers the possibility of collaboration between different locations. In this case, communication was possible between an operator, located on the farm, and an expert, located in another location, by means of a video call in which video, documents, maps, and images could be shared in real-time.
The device used to make the connection, RealWear HMT, can be operated with voice commands and head gestures, leaving your hands completely free to work on the farm. The solution works with the Expert On-Demand application, a software based on the Webex Teams Software Development Kit (Android SDK 1.0), which runs on the RealWear device connected to the WebEx cloud via the device’s wireless interface.
Main solution or advance offered by technology:
The use of this system can be used for two purposes: for large-scale training purposes or to assist a large brigade of pruners. 5G technology is especially relevant in the second case, as it allows a single agricultural engineer to supervise a large number of operators in real-time, achieving optimization of the pruning process, which is key to determining the achievement of a farm’s production objectives.
In addition, 5G technology can favor the automation process and application of new technologies in the rural sector.