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Is rural 5G key to the future of farming?

30 August, 2019
Having adequate phone signal in rural areas could be “the difference between life and death”, says NFU Farm Safety and Transport Advisor, Tom Price.

The reliance on mobile phones may seem extreme, but with many famers lone-working, having immediate contact with emergency services, for example, is paramount. Not only could poor connectivity be detrimental to your welfare, it can mean risk to crops. Should a fire break out on-farm, being able to access the fire service as soon as possible could reduce the loss-level.

In August, the government announced plans to roll out 5G in rural areas. The plans involve increasing the amount and height of masts across the countryside to accommodate requirements.

The news has faced some backlash, but Digital Secretary, Nicky Morgan, reassured listeners of BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that:

“There has to be a balance struck. We all want better phone signal. We all want to be able to download things much more quickly so we have to have the infrastructure there. We have to make sure it's done in a sensitive way, it respects certain areas of outstanding natural beauty".

What is 5G?

5G is explained as another layer to the UK’s existing mobile network. It’s not a replacement to 4G.

5G promises faster speeds (up to 20 x faster than 4G) with a better quality;
Internet connections will be nigh-on instant;
And in busy areas and at peak times, connectivity won’t be affected by too many people trying to connect at once.

Read more about 5G here .

The question is, how is 5G going to improve life for farmers?

With technology available (which uses 5G), studies have already been taking place on farms in Shropshire - with targeted crop-spraying and soil analysis with drones and tractors.

Rural connectivity will also help to keep lone-workers safe, with the likes of lone-worker apps being accessible on 5G enabled phones.
5G is still a thing of the future for rural communities, but when it does become accessible, AF will be here to help.

AF are here to find the best telecoms solutions suited to you, to ensure that you can work as productively and safely as possible. We can also assist you with connectivity and signal testing.

Get in touch with the AF Telecoms team today on 01603 881 885 or email
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If you have any queries or would like to find out more please get in touch. 01603 881881Honingham Thorpe, Colton, Norwich, Norfolk NR9 5BZ
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