Ericsson and the National Science Foundation-funded Platforms for Advanced Wireless Research (PAWR) program have struck an agreement under which the vendor will provide its radio access network (RAN) and related equipment and services to the Agriculture and Rural Communities (ARA) testbed at Iowa State University (ISU).
The testbed will be used to support research on precision agriculture, rural broadband, renewable energy and public safety. Use cases will touch on improving farming and ranching operations, increasing yields, use of autonomy to automate operations, implementing secure renewable energy sources and improving rural public safety.
The testbed is designed to provide efficient, low latency processing at the network edge for the ISU campus and surrounding areas.
Ericsson’s latest small form factor Local Packet Gateway, which includes a User Plane Function (UPF) and Massive MIMO radios – which will be deployed in multiple frequency bands – will be located at ISU. The vendor also will provide a 5G Core that will be hosted at its D-15 Innovation lab in Santa Clara, CA.
“Ericsson has been a valuable partner since the beginning of the PAWR program and continues to enable some of the most advanced wireless research in 5G and beyond,” Mari Silbey, the Program Director for the PAWR Project Office, said in a press release about the rural wireless testbed. “The company’s contributions to the ARA platform will bring 5G SA capabilities to farm sites in Central Iowa and create a living lab for developing new applications and network optimization technologies in a rural environment. We’re excited once again to demonstrate the benefits of combining private sector and academic research talents, and by the wireless innovation at ARA that is still to come.”
PAWR added the test bed – its fourth — at ISU in June 2021.