Cellurar networks hosted by AT&T enables PrecisionKing’s solution for managing alternate wetting and drying methods on rice fields, as well as technology from WaterBit, to track soil moisture levels in a variety of crops.
In recent years, technology companies have been developing, testing and deploying a variety of Internet of Things (IoT)-based innovations that leverage cellular networks hosted by AT&T to capture and manage IoT data regarding what is happening on farm fields. The data enables not only automated responses, such as the powering on of irrigation, but also analytics to help farmers make crops more efficient, with higher yields and a reduction in water waste.
Soil moisture sensor technology company WaterBit, located in San Jose, Calif., helps farmers to understand and manage the irrigation in their fields, while a water-management system for farming solutions firm PrecisionKing provides technology to help rice farmers manage their crops with the demand to reduce excess water use.
AT&T is providing its IoT network for use with technology to help companies reduce their carbon footprint. The system is part of the telecommunications company’s carbon abatement plan, known as 10x since it aims to enable carbon savings for its customers that are 10 times the footprint of AT&T’s own operations by 2025. Part of this effort is in smart farming, for which technology companies are using AT&T’s cellular network to forward data from fields, explains Mobeen Khan, the company’s assistant VP for Internet of Things solutions.
AT&T has been offering networking solutions for several decades that enable sensor- or other machine-based data to be collected remotely. It now has 38 million end devices to connect to an IoT network, he says, for fleet or asset tracking, equipment monitoring and health-care devices.
“The common thread is a secure network,” Khan says, that consists of a global subscriber identity module (SIM) to enable communication, an AT&T control center to manage data, and what is now more than 3,000 kinds of sensors that are certified for use on the network. AT&T sells full solutions to end users, as well as partnering with solutions providers.
In the case of agriculture, Khan says “Farming over the decades has been becoming more and more mechanized.” To manage the flow of data coming from fields, he adds, “Farmers have been coming to us, and we work with technology companies to help provide their solution.”