SMOAD Networks

February 17, 2022

How is SD-WAN contributing to UK’s Rural Agri focused connectivity?

The rise in population and demand for food has put the farming industry under immense stress. By the year 2050, the world population is expected to rise by 9.7 billion, which means a 70% increase in consumption rate. With water supply to fall by 40% by 2030, the use of connectivity enabled digital transformation is the solution to increasing the yield. Though mechanical advancements like machinery, genetic efficient productivity are already in place, embracing digital tools is the next leap. Sophisticated digital tools can help in mitigating the risks in the industry.

Diversified agriculture
Agriculture is no more restricted to production, it has diversified into agribusiness where various aspects like insurance, auctioneering, maintenance or leasing agricultural equipment and services to rural communities are all packed in one. A technology that could connect various requirements of the Agri community has become the order of the day. Over the past decades, agriculture has scaled to improve the speed of farming through efficient usage of the available land. The research in agriculture has reinforced the seeds, fertilizers and irrigation process to increase the yield.

Digital transformation: Smart Farming
Modern-day agriculture relies on data and connectivity to improve production. The use of artificial intelligence, IoT, analytics, sensors, drones and other emerging technologies have taken agriculture to a new plane. With the help of these technologies, water efficiency, crop cultivation, livestock resilience, and build sustainability has improved. For all this 24/7/365 connectivity is the key. Research has it that by 2030, excess of $500 billion can be added to the global gross domestic product. This means around a 7% to 9% increase from the expected value.

Principles of segmentation
Farming consists of both crop cultivation and livestock. Maintaining a farm without fences could be a mess, similarly, segmentation is the key to organized farming. With each crop and animal requiring a different type of food, care and protection, it becomes overburdening for the farmer to provide high-level care to protect his farm from outbreaks.

The principle of segmentation is not new to agriculture and the same applies to networks. It helps in protecting from malicious behaviour. SD-WAN technology goes a long way in controlling and maintaining the connectivity between various segments. Load balancing, visibility, application steering, etc. are some of the features that have gained popularity.

Connectivity challenges
In the UK the challenges faced by the agriculture industry can be divided into two; those regions lacking connectivity infrastructure and those with the best connectivity infrastructure but lack of deployment tools. The challenges have further deepened in the following five areas like resilience, efficiency, digitalization, sustainability and agility.

In tech-advanced countries like the UK, farms use connected devices to access data. The 3G and 4G cellular networks help in the advanced monitoring of livestock and crops. But the hardware cost is high, leaving the farmers to reconsider their decision. The introduction of connectivity solutions like SD-WAN offered at an affordable price can yield ROI within a year. The simpler tools cannot satisfy the growing demands of the Agri industry and the need for high bandwidth, low latency, high resilience and frontier connectivity like 5G is a must for the usage of digital applications and analytics.

SMOAD solutions for rural agriculture
The USP of SMOAD infrastructure is to provide multiple connectivity solutions for Smart Farming. The aggregation of networks like 4G LTE, 5G and Broadband using sophisticated routers can provide upto 99.99% uptime. With this, crop monitoring, integrating weather data, nutrients, irrigation, soil condition, sprinkler direction, sensor deployment and a nutrient application can be managed remotely. The harvesting window is optimized through smart monitoring.

Virtual Leased Line (VLL) facilitates the bonding of multiple internet access to provide high throughput data. With the applications demanding high bandwidth, the QoS issues like jitters, latency and pack loss are major worries. This means upgrading routers regularly, which could be time-consuming and expensive. SMOAD SD-WAN solutions allow the use of commercial components as network devices, where the networking features are defined at the software level as a network overlay. It provides centralized management for frequent updates at an affordable cost.

SMOAD devices are 5G ready. SMOAD can run multiple virtual machines at edge level. This means the functions can be performed at the device level which is great news for the Agri Industry to move to Smart Farming!

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