- TPG Telecom intends to conduct a trial using 5G networks and edge computing technology to help farmers count livestock during sales and auctions.
- The trial is set to take place in regional Victoria.
- The plan to conduct a trial came after the telco was awarded $1.4m this week as part of the Federal Government’s $20m funding for projects under its 5G Innovation Initiative.
TPG Telecom intends to conduct a trial using 5G networks and edge computing technology to help farmers count livestock during sales and auctions. The trial is set to take place in regional Victoria.
The plan to conduct a trial came after the telco was awarded $1.4m this week as part of the Federal Government’s $20m funding for projects under its 5G Innovation Initiative. This program aims to provide businesses with opportunities to trial and test 5G applications. These applications should demonstrate the capabilities and benefits of 5G in various industry sectors and locations.
To conduct the trials, TPG has partnered with the University of Technology Sydney, AWS, and Nokia. The exact trial location is set to take place at the Bendigo Regional Livestock Exchange. As part of the project, the use of 5G networks, multiple 4K video streams, and edge processing to automate the process of counting sheep will be evaluated and examined. With the automated process of counting sheep, the risk of human error will be significantly eliminated.
The edge computing capabilities will be provided by Nokia while the cloud and data support will be provided by AWS. Meanwhile, UTS has developed an algorithm for the counting process.
According to TPG GM for wireless and transmission networks Yago Lopez, the system has the potential to save hours of manual labour per year. “The 5G wireless and edge computing technologies involved in this project will be used to count sheep at a regional livestock exchange by providing extremely fast downlink and uplink rates and increased capacity, which is needed to support multiple high-quality video feeds.” He further added that “These video streams of sheep counts will be uploaded on site and relayed through our 5G network, which will process the counting on-site and relay the data in real-time back to farmers on a tablet or mobile device.
Still, according to Lopez, TPG is now deploying 100 new 5G sites per month. With this, it is on track in meeting its target of covering 85% of the population in ten of the largest cities and regions across Australia by the end of the year.
This trial by TPG represents one of the first 5G use cases for the segment while a number of technologies are being developed to support livestock sales. In terms of the latter, these are NSW-based AuctionsPlus, which has been developing technology to enable buyers to virtually inspect cattle and other livestock using virtual and augmented reality.