In yet another reminder of the opportunities for private 5G in multiple industries, John Deere, a global leader in the delivery of agricultural, construction, and forestry equipment, has outlined plans to launch its first private 5G network in a new factory in Brazil later this year.
The planter and harvest factory in Horizontina will use 3.5GHz mid-band spectrum, moving to an 80% mobile connectivity system within five years and lessening reliance on the miles of Ethernet cables now deployed.
According to the Mobile World Live news resource, this is part of a plan to deploy more mobile connectivity across John Deere’s global manufacturing facilities.
The company currently uses two 4G networks and standalone (SA) 5G at its headquarters in the US, an approach that could inform plans to build mobile networks. However, before the company uses SA 5G networks in its facilities, it apparently feels, according to Jason Wallin, principal architect of infrastructure and operations at John Deere, that the device ecosystem needs to mature.
That said, the company apparently regards private 5G as less prone to latency than Wi-Fi, which it also uses. Fewer latency concerns would help speed up the manufacturing process.
Regular readers may have noticed that this isn’t the only private 5G news relating to Brazilian agriculture in recent weeks. Indeed, as we reported at the time, in early October Jacto, a Brazilian multinational corporation in the machinery sector, selected technology giant Nokia to deploy what is described as the first industrial-grade private wireless 4.9G/LTE and 5G network for the agricultural machinery industry in Latin America.
Initiatives like this could be an undoubted shot on the arm for 5G use case viability, although the private network model does not always benefit operators.
Mobile World Live says John Deere plans to deploy more 4G and 5G private networks across its 70 manufacturing sites, and 70 logistics and parts locations worldwide, as more spectrum becomes available. Whether this will be in-house managed or operator-supported is not clear.