BRASILIA (Reuters) – The Brazilian farm state of Goias rolled out a pilot project on Thursday to increase productivity and take fast action against disease using fifth-generation technology and equipment provided by China’s Huawei Technologies Co.
The rollout of the agricultural support application for soy farmers comes at a time when Brazil’s government is considering whether to ban the use of Huawei equipment in next year’s auction of 5G frequencies spectrum to telecom companies.
The 5G communications will allow producers to improve crops through the collection of information by sensors placed in the fields, on harvesters and drones, so that it can be readily crossed with meteorological and humidity data, said Huawei Brasil marketing director Tiago Fontes.
Combining fast broadband communications with real time cloud data processing will give farmers in one hour information that used to take three days so they can rapidly take actions against diseases and other threats to their crops, he said.
“We launched this application for soy to show how 5G used with drones can raise productivity and reduce herbicide costs,” Fontes said by telephone.
The pilot was launched in the soy-farming town of Rio Verde, and uses a 5G network built by telecom company Claro, a unit of Mexico’s Am’rica M’vil.
Huawei representatives declined to comment on a report on Thursday that the rules drawn up for the auction of spectrum frequencies in the first half of 2021 do not exclude Huawei.
The Folha de S.Paulo newspaper reported on Thursday, citing government sources, that telecommunications regulator Anatel has proposed rules that do not exclude the Chinese Company.
Brazil’s far-right President Jair Bolsonaro would have to make any decision on a Huawei ban. His government has been under pressure from the Trump administration to exclude Huawei due to security concerns.
Telecom companies in Brazil, such as Claro, oppose a ban because they already use Huawei equipment.
(Reporting by Anthony Boadle; Editing by Marguerita Choy)