Among the many business decisions they make, vintners decide when to harvest their grapes based on the humidity and temperature of the air, the humidity and temperature of the soil, and solar intensity. This data also helps them select the optimal time and location for fertilization, irrigation, and use of pesticides.  These are tried and true methods that have worked for generations of vintners. Can the technologies being developed for the Internet of Things (IOT), cloud, and carriers improve a winery’s traditional harvesting methods? A new partnership between several technology companies including Ericsson seeks to answer that question.  The trial is being run in four vineyards in Germany’s Mosel Valley, and seeks to demonstrate how sensor data from a vineyard environment can be collected and processed in order to better inform wine producers about their crop. The partnership has a second goal.  It will test the viability of a technology value chain in which different types of high tech enterprises can partner to provide a complete, seamless service to help other industries gather better data, analyze it with greater precision, and make business decisions faster.

About the Networked Society Technologies

The technology consists of five IoT gateways that connect to 20 solar-powered sensor platforms, which are placed throughout each vineyard. Part of the trial is to assess the best placement of the sensors, as this information will help winemakers in future industry applications of the technology. The sensors are designed to measure a variety of environmental factors, including:

  • Air humidity and temperature
  • Soil humidity and temperature
  • Solar intensity

The trial tests how the data collected from the vineyards can be utilized in order to perform predictive analysis.  The benefits to the vineyards of predictive analysis include:

  • Maximized Output and Optimized Management – Predicting the optimum time for harvest can significantly improve quality and minimize risks for the grapes. Subsequently the yield of the wine is increased. The analysis performed by TracoVino helps staff to plan the allocation of resources and specify the precise necessary actions in advance.
  • Improved Wine Quality – the data collected from the vineyards allows winemakers to assess vineyard conditions in order to define the optimal time and location for fertilization, irrigation and use of fungicides.
  • Remote Monitoring of the Vineyard – the winemaker has real-time access to their vineyard data anytime and anywhere through the TracoVino app using the mobile network.
  • Eco-Friendly Operations – the ability to predict how and when to use resources enables the producers to minimize impact on the environment.

The data collected from the sensor platforms is communicated to the IoT gateway via mid-range radio technology with coverage up to 3 km. The gateway aggregates the data and sends it via 3G network (provided by Telenor Connexion) to the MyOmega service layer cloud server.  These are the technologies each trial participant provides:

  • Ericsson
    • Connectivity management as-a-service through the Device Connection Platform
    • End-to-end security service (based on SIM)
  • Intel
    • Chipset in the MyOmega Gateway
    • EGPP modem with security function
  • Telenor Connexion
    • Connectivity using SIM
  • My Omega
    • IoT tateway
    • Cloud service
    • Analytical tools
  • Tracovino
    • Connectivity management
    • Security based on SIM
    • Gateway
    • Sensors
    • Local support

A Unique Security Solution

As part of the trial, Telenor Connexion is providing connectivity through SIM cards managed by the Ericsson DCP. Ericsson is also providing an associated IoT security service end-to-end based on 3GPP standard Generic Bootstrapping Architecture (GBA). This enables the reuse of the SIM card credentials and generates security keys to set-up secure end-to-end authentication and encryption on the application layer. During the bootstrapping procedure, the security keys are generated on the IoT gateway and in the Ericsson IoT Security Solution in DCP. The keys can be time-limited and generated on demand, thereby enhancing security even further. The enterprise is in full control of its security policy through management of key distribution, key validity and the ability to allow/block device connectivity to enterprise data.

Opportunities for Operators in IoT and the Networked Society

Operators can play an important role in this ecosystem. To begin with, they can monetize their key asset, connectivity, through the SIM cards used in the ecosystem, then add device authentication and encryption. Operators can address new markets by offering similar IoT services to customers  with devices connected to a mobile gateway. Furthermore, operators can shorten the time to market of these services.  Instead of making large investments and managing time-consuming deployments, they can take advantage of the Ericsson DCP cloud services.

Opportunities for Other Enterprises in IoT and the Networked Society

The TracoVino trial is one example of an IoT value chain. To truly enable the IoT, the Networked Society will need to form new value chains in other industries.  These new value chains will create opportunities for stakeholders to expand their revenue streams and expand into alternative business areas. DCP on-boarded operators have several ways to apply the technologies in the TracoVino ecosystem.  The simplest would be other agricultural applications.  Other industries, such as transportation, health, construction and manufacturing are also good candidates because of the unique scale and security of this particular ecosystem.  Any industry with devices and objects that are securely connected to an internet network can use this ecosystem to analyze its data and improve its day-to-day operations.

Ericsson’s Role in IoT and the Networked Society

Ericsson’s IoT security service, in particular, can be reused for large-scale IoT, Machine-to-Machine and industry use cases without any customizations needed. We can supply the software to the relevant IoT device and gateway developer community to shorten the time-to-market and increase uptake of the service.  Not only does Ericsson provide a global connectivity solution for emerging business models, but we also ensure safe transfer of data and complete security. These exciting changes represent the realization of our vision: a Networked Society, where every person and every industry is empowered to reach their full potential. For more information about the Tracovino trial, read or download the PDF brochure here.

Watch the Internet of Grapes below:




Partnerships Digital Industrialization

John Fornehed

John Fornehed is in charge of IoT ecosystem & technology. Over the past 20+ years, 15 of those in Japan, John has managed strategic accounts with Japanese & European Operators as Head of Operator Relations, Multi Vendor Integration and bringing 2G and 3G to Japanese operators. John has also been a leader in Ericsson's 50 Billion Program. Currently John drives IoT ecosystem partnership activities & technology leadership. John is also chairman of IPSO alliance Reference Architecture Committee.

John Fornehed