Australian company Zetifi and Case IH Australia/New Zealand developed a portable Wi-Fi repeater that can be fitted to a tractor. The WiFi-repeater creates a ‘bubble of connectivity’ around the tractor, enabling a machine’s telematics, remote support and data transfer capabilities, along with Wi-Fi calling, messaging, email and internet access for the machine’s operator.
Zetifi and Case IH Australia/New Zealand have carried out a series of trials with dozens of Case IH customers in Australia, and several large Case IH dealerships in the country. Success has prompted Zetifi to look to other localities facing the same connectivity challenges. Zetifi now aims to introduce the technology to New York State farmers.
According to Daniele Maggiolini, Head of Mergers and Acquisition in North America for CNH Industrial, large areas of the US are not covered by good cellular technology or cellular reception. “So there’s a clear need in the market for solutions to this,” Daniele said. “And this need is just going to grow as we see the increasing need for data management from a machinery perspective, and the expansion of the usage of the likes of the Internet of Things (IoT) on farms. Fast and reliable in-field connectivity is vital to realise the full potential of precision agriculture, and as a direct result of that, improvement in the profitability of farm businesses.”
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CNH Industrial engages with start-ups around the world in an effort to identify new and innovative solutions. One of its ag machinery brands, Case IH, is currently working in Australia with Zetifi, an emerging company focused on solving the issue of poor network coverage on farms by developing technology that enables power-efficient broadband connectivity across vast distances.
The partnership between Zetifi and Case IH Australia/New Zealand has resulted in a series of trials of a portable Wi-Fi repeater fitted to a tractor, that effectively creates a ‘bubble of connectivity’ around it, enabling a machine’s telematics, remote support and data transfer capabilities, along with Wi-Fi calling, messaging, email and internet access for the machine’s operator.
The trials have been carried out in conjunction with dozens of Case IH customers in Australia, and several large Case IH dealerships, and their success has now prompted Zetifi to look to other localities facing the same connectivity challenges, with the company now in discussions with large US Case IH dealership, Monroe Tractor, which has multiple locations across New York State.
The WiFi repeater costs (AU) $ 2,700. Zetifi is currently finalising the pricing for the US market but are expecting the price to be similar.