CNH Boosts Farmers’ Connectivity with Intelsat Collaboration

Everything the future holds for farming, depends on connectivity.

According to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations, the world’s population will grow over a third by 2050, for which people will need homes and space to live, while farms will need to produce 60% more food. Additionally climate change will add to the strain on other important resources. In essence, farmers will need to produce more, using less: through precision farming.

And precision farming will increasingly use automation and autonomous farming in the future, which will majorly depend on access to the uninterrupted internet connection, in order to operate the machines.

To keep this in view, CNH Industrial and Intelsat, operator of one of the world’s largest integrated satellite and terrestrial communication networks, has collaborated to be the first to provide farmers ubiquitous access to the internet via a ruggedized satellite communications (SATCOM) service. Based on the memorandum of understanding, Intelsat will provide multi-orbit internet access to connect CNH equipment working in remote locations and easy-to-use satellite terminals ready to handle the challenging environment on a farm.

Machines with internet connectivity

“Satellite technology helps solve complex connectivity challenges for hard-to-reach farms, but not all providers are equal. Intelsat stands out for their depth of experience as well as the quality and reliability of their service and industrial terminal offerings. They get what it means to be rugged,” says Marc Kermisch, Chief Digital and Information Officer at CNH.

“When we think of the increasingly automated and even autonomous farming of the future, all of that depends on those machines having access to the internet, wherever they are. Not only will this satellite connectivity set up our customers for the connection they’ll need in the future, but it will unlock the value of our existing automation and autonomy, among many other digital features, for the first time for some of our customers. That is why it was important for us to get this into market quickly, and with Intelsat, we will be the first in the industry to offer satellite connection,” he adds.

“As the first satellite communications company to provide multi-orbit connectivity to farmers around the world, Intelsat’s partnership with CNH will unlock new capabilities in the most remote locations through our communications platform,” said Dave Wajsgras, CEO of Intelsat.

With 60 years’ experience in SATCOM, Intelsat’s capabilities span geosynchronous and low-Earth orbits, offering Case IH, Steyr and New Holland customers SATCOM coverage that is unparalleled in the market. Intelsat’s rugged, industrial-grade terminals already serve critical industrial applications, including for the military and airlines. Case IH, Steyr and New Holland customers will use a rigorously tested terminal that connects easily and is proven to withstand extreme weather conditions and the vibration and shock produced by farming equipment and activity.

Value of connectivity to farmers

According to the FAO, less than 33% of the world’s surface has mobile network coverage.

Internet connectivity is central to realizing gains in productivity and yield through precision agriculture, as Case IH, STEYR and New Holland farmers’ intelligent machines connect and coordinate with one another while they work. They also communicate with the farmer via the cloud, exchanging data securely and receiving the farmer’s highly specified directions for the jobs they execute. While many customers fulfil this need for internet connectivity with CNH’s market-leading global mobile virtual network, existing cellular towers do not enable pervasive connection.

Farmers are up against dwindling resources and a rising demand for food. By 2050, there will need to be a 70% increase in crops to feed the global population.  In order to overcome these challenges, farms across the world depend on precision agriculture to increase productivity, efficiency, and sustainability, while saving time, money, and resources; but precision agriculture depends on the internet.

CNH is a leader in connectivity, connecting our customers in 160 countries through our mobile virtual networks, but cellular broadband networks cover only 33% of the world’s surface. By opening access to satellite communications, farmers in regions otherwise underserved by other connectivity options will now have access to the internet. This unlocks a myriad of capabilities for farmers to use our intelligent machines to farm more efficiently and productively to create more food.

This offering will be first available in the second half of 2024 to farmers in Brazil, where ConectarAgro’s Rural Connectivity Indicator found only 19% of the area available for agricultural use has high-speed internet access. Customers will be able to rely on their Case IH and New Holland dealers to install and support Intelsat’s hardware and service activation. Subsequently, the companies plan to expand their collaboration to the U.S., Australia, and other regions.

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