This article is part of Nova SBE Digital Experience Lab's annual cycle of reflection on technology, business, and sustainability in the month dedicated to 5G, which will focus on the business and innovation opportunities that 5G is already creating. Join us on May 31st to discuss this topic with NOS.
The digital transformation of agriculture, powered by 5G, IoT, AI, and robotics, is generating new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to create innovative solutions addressing food security, resource scarcity, and climate change as the world progressively reaches 8 billion inhabitants and growing. The rise of 5G networks and low orbit satellite (LOS) internet connectivity fuels this revolution by providing high-speed, low latency, dependable communication that can unlock the potential of advanced agricultural technologies. The future emergence of 6G will further expand these possibilities, initiating a new era of growth and innovation in the sector.
5G and LOS connectivity, together with autonomous vehicles powered by AI and Data-Driven, allow various agricultural applications, from precision farming to smart supply chain management, creating new business opportunities and boosting economic growth. Here are some opportunities these technologies enable:
• Data-driven Agronomy Services – Integrating 5G with IoT devices allows collecting and analyzing real-time data on soil, weather, and crops. AgriTech businesses can provide data-driven agronomy services, aiding farmers in making informed decisions regarding resource allocation, crop selection, and pest control.
• Remote Crop and Livestock Monitoring – High-resolution satellite imagery, along with 5G-enabled drones and IoT sensors, offer real-time insights into crop health, growth, and yield, as well as animal well-being and management. Startups can develop monitoring solutions to alert farmers of potential issues, enabling early intervention and minimizing crop and livestock loss.
• Smart Farming-as-a-Service – The fusion of 5G, LOS internet, and IoT devices support the development of smart farming-as-a-service platforms. Farmers can access advanced agricultural technologies and services via subscription, lowering barriers to adopting cutting-edge solutions and allowing small-scale farmers to compete with larger operations.
• Autonomous Farm Equipment – As 5G networks enable autonomous vehicles and machinery in agriculture, new business opportunities will arise in designing, manufacturing, and maintaining these advanced systems. Companies can profit from this trend by offering specialized equipment, software, and support services tailored for autonomous farming.
• Sustainable Supply Chain Management – Real-time tracking, monitoring, and prediction information of agricultural produce, facilitated by 5G and LOS connectivity, can improve supply chain efficiency and sustainability. Businesses can create innovative solutions to minimize food waste, optimize transportation routes, and ensure fresher produce reaches consumers.
Looking ahead, 6G's anticipated arrival will offer even greater opportunities for the agricultural sector. Building on 5G's advances, 6G is expected to provide faster speeds, lower latency, and enhanced connectivity, unlocking new possibilities for AI-driven agriculture, cloud real-time computing, remote assistance and control, and seamless integration of physical and digital farming environments.
In summary, the convergence of 5G networks, low orbit satellite internet, and the future potential of 6G are driving innovation in agriculture, a sector left behind for the past years. These technologies create new opportunities for businesses and entrepreneurs to tackle global challenges. Harnessing these technologies can lead to a more sustainable, efficient, and prosperous future.