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Cows that text

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Farming is a beneficiary of machine-to-machine communication. By using solutions provided by Telekom partner MEDRIA Technologies, stock farmers can monitor their herds remotely. They are texted when a cow is on heat or about to calve.

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Connected agriculture

THE INTERNET OF THINGS: Networked objects, even networked cows whose vital data can be sent back to base, are radically changing our private and professional lives. Because it isn't just the industry and business worlds that are profiting from machine-to-machine (M2M) communications. Consumers are also seeing its benefits.

Farmer Josef Schreiber, who breeds cattle in western Germany, used to spend a great deal of time in the pasture and in the stable. After all, he constantly had to look out for the short period during which his cows were on heat. Today, Schreiber no longer needs to hang around in the stable for nights on end. The machine-to-machine solution HeatPhone® monitors his cattle automatically. His herd now has a higher reproduction rate and he has more time.

Many industries already use M2M, or automated data interchange between networked devices or with a control center. Thanks to the solutions developed by Telekom partner MEDRIA Technologies farmers like Josef Schreiber now also benefit from M2M. The French company is specialized in real-time monitoring solutions for agriculture. HeatPhone® notifies farmers when cows are on heat and Vel’Phone® when cows are about to calve. The San’Phone® solution records the cows’ behavior and eating habits in order to diagnose health disorders at an early stage.

Online monitoring in real time

MEDRIA’s solutions consist of sensors for the cows, a GSM data collector, and a Web portal, while Telekom ensures secure mobile wireless data transmission. HeatPhone® first uses a motion sensor placed on the cow’s collar to record its activity and draw inferences as to whether the cow is on heat. Vel’Phone® and SanPhone® use thermometers to measure the animal’s body temperature too. All of the cattle’s vital data recorded is relayed to the GSM data collector that transmits it to the MEDRIA servers via a wireless device with a built-in SIM card. The stock farmer can access the evaluated data at any time via a Web portal. All that he needs is an Internet-enabled device such as a PC, a laptop, a tablet PC or a smartphone. Up-to-date overview tables and graphs of the readings show him when his cattle are at rest and when they are feeding. As soon as important events such as when they are on heat or about to calve are imminent, the system sends him an additional text. For farmers these solutions are a great relief, improving their daily routines and making their work more profitable.

Always available in rural areas too

The stables and pastures of MEDRIA’s customers are in rural regions. Thanks to Telekom’s nationwide mobile network coverage and that of its international roaming partners, the MEDRIA solutions can be sure to run smoothly in the countryside, and special M2M rates keep data transmission costs low. If the herd needs help, several people can be notified simultaneously. All that is required is for their cellphone numbers to have been stored. In this way it is not just the farmer who is notified of the imminent birth of a calf or that a cow is on heat. The veterinary surgeon and the inseminator also know what is going on right away and the herd is always well looked after. Josef Schreiber has also set up the notification service for his two sons. They want to join the family business and keep up its farming tradition. Thanks to their father’s openness towards new technologies they are well-equipped for the future.

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