Victor Wynne

How John Deere built its own cellular network for its factory

Stacey Higginbotham, who took a really cool tour of their factory:

“Today it is running 14 LTE microcells in the Moline Harvester plant, which provide coverage for about a third of the facility. Those 14 microcells offer the same density as 100 Wi-Fi access points, Wallin told me, and even that’s overkill for the plant’s current needs. There are some 200 devices on each microcell, which deliver 100 Mbps and latencies of about 10 milliseconds, according to Wallin, who added that the current cellular network cost about 75% of the wired infrastructure it replaced.

To build this network, John Deere grew its wireless department by 20% and worked with its cellular equipment vendor (the name of which it did not share) to spec out and do the initial build. The result is that it now has the experience and airwaves to essentially operate its own telco network inside the Moline plant.”