Hawk Networks and RuralUrban Labs are partnering to create a 5G Smart Farm and “HardTech” hub in the Camden, NJ area. The hub will support testing and developing of next generation automated farm equipment and machinery. The equipment will be deployed in the farms surrounding the city.
The partnership also includes a joint investment to bring broadband to residents of Camden. Hawk Networks will be the virtual network operator and deploy the network using fiber, fixed wireless and CBRS LTE technologies.
Hawk Networks will contribute its Althea micro-transactions platform and KeyLTE technology to the project. KeyLTE is an approach to building private LTE and 5G networks. It uses an evolved packet core that is embedded into a home router. The company says that the system provides connectivity at a fraction of the cost of cellular networks. The company also says that deploying KeyLTE has the simplicity of a Wi-Fi network.
The connectivity provided by Hawk Networks will enable RuralUrban Labs to increase the footprint of the test bed in Camden. This includes 20 acres of RuralUrban Labs’ 5G Farm – Carbon Sequestration testbed. It also will increase high school internships and put other socially focused activities in motion.
“Althea’s technology allows us to deliver robust connectivity in a community driven and sustainable way. Instead of treating mobile and private 5G networks as separate from broadband, communities like Camden can build holistic networks with Althea,” Hawk Network Founder and CEO Deborah Simpier said in a press release about the 5G smart farm partnership. “We are excited to work together with RuralUrban Labs to provide broadband access and support the AgTech innovation at Camden’s 500 Acre 5G Farm.”
RuralUrban labs describes itself a “HardTech” research, development and commercialization hub focusing on technology, education and cultural understanding. It is based in rural Indiana.
Simpier described the Hawk/Althea platform and its goals to Telecompetitor earlier this year.