Along with the rapid development of the global economy, climatic and environmental problems are becoming increasingly severe, threatening the world's every survival. In recent years, the living environment of bees has deteriorated in Europe and even the whole world. In agroecosystems, pollinators are essential for crops. Pollinators such as bees, birds and bats affect 35 percent of the world's crop production, increasing outputs of 87 of the leading food crops. Due to the immensely valuable contribution from bees, it is imperative to find a solution to improve the living environment of bees and protect the ecology. 5G network, which features large bandwidth, low latency and massive connections, opens a new way for environmental problems.
A Collaborative Effort
ZTE has cooperated with Drei Austria and IoT40 to carry out a 5G Bee-o-Meter research and pilot in Austria since 2019, which allows 5G to improve the living environment of bees via visual analysis and other technologies.
"We are very glad to be the first one to bring 5G together with Drei Austria to Austria", says Christian Woschitz, CEO of ZTE Austria. "We had an idea to do something connected with the environment and local company to really bring value added to the Austrian market. So we achieved to find out our partner IoT40 together with Drei Austria to develop the so-called 5G Bee-o-Meter."
"5G Bee-o-Meter is a good showcase demonstrating what you could do combining real-time video, AI and 5G capabilities", explains Matthias Baldermann, CTO of Drei Austria. "Drei Austria contributed the network planning and connectivity expertise. ZTE provided 5G core, radio network technologies and 5G CPE. And IoT40, our partner, implemented very quickly the beehive hardware and AI training for the 5G Bee-o-Meter prototype."
Christian Inzko, CEO of IoT40 Systems, adds that ZTE is a strong partner to get this beehive more generally to the communities and to other potential customers, and it is an interesting showcase how 5G can work for the public.
The 5G Bee-o-Meter offers great benefits. "I think we all agree on the importance of environmental protection," says Matthias Baldermann, CTO of Drei Austria. "We can demonstrate the potential of new technologies, contributing to the actual challenges of these days. Counting bees in real time, detecting specific intruders or bee sicknesses would support the bee-keepers, help the agricultural research industry and provide valuable environmental quality information to regional authorities."
Thomas Schweege, a bee-keeper, acknowledges that 5G Bee-o-Meter gives him around-the-clock, real-time access data to the beehive, "Without that, I would only watch the bees once a week but now I can watch from the office and get alerts."
Albert Schittenhelm, President of Regional Association for bee-keeping in Vienna, pins hopes on the 5G Bee-o-Meter collaboration: "We hope that the collaboration of ZTE, Drei Austria and IoT40 will bring results for us. We would hope to get some backing and inputs on bee sicknesses, robbery, poisoning and so on, which will help us better manage our beekeeping challenges in the future."
With large-scale commercial use of 5G, ZTE will strengthen the cooperation with Drei Austria, IoT40 and industry partners to apply the key technologies to the 5G Bee-o-Meter. In the coming days, the number of 5G Bee-o-Meter hives is expected to increase to 1000 in Austria to cover the biological quality evaluation of the whole Austria.