Vodafone Group Plc (ADR) (NASDAQ:VOD) Australia’s CEO, Inaki Berroeta stated that introduction of Machine–to-Machine technology might be the answer to farmers’ woes. M2M technology can enable farmers to work, faster and smarter.
M2M technoogy have the ability to monitor remotely and adjust soil moisture levels and can also receive live updates from farmers’ padlock on to their tablets. According to Berroeta, Australian agriculture needs to embrace this technology so that it can reach its potential of delivering jobs and growth for regional communities. He stated this while speaking at Digital Transformation in Agriculture Breakfast in Parliament
Berroeta also echoed the need to support the Regional Telecommunication Review, which was tabled in October. This was among eleven other recommendations, which stated that Universal Service Obligation (USO) should be replaced with Consumer Communication Fund. Berroeta notes that Australia spends AU$253 through USO with the aim of maintaining the copper network in regional areas, which could be connected to NBN. He noted that Vodafone among other local communities was seeking urgent and effective action from the government.
Vodafone has slowly been taping to the agriculture sector. In December 2015, Vodafone announced a partnership with The National Farmers’ Federation with the aim of developing an online platform, which will be used by farmers as part of efforts to transform the agriculture industry within the region. The initiative from this partnership will see the establishment of an online platform, which will be, used by farmers. There will also be the establishment of agricultural incubator named Sprout. The online platform is expected to go live in May 2016.
According to Dan Lloyd who is the chief strategy officer and the director of Corporate Affairs stated that Australian population is about 6 million and includes about 100,000 farmers. For long, these farmers have been disadvantaged by lack of mobile competition. He noted that Vodafone was happy to champion for improve regional telecommunication service and increase competition to address the digital divide.
According to Berroeta Vodafone’s 4G network currently serves about 97% of Australian metro population and they plan to have the entire network enabled by Q1 of 2016. He noted that Mobile technology has a significant role to play in national digital economy