Vodafone Germany outlined progress of a project with start-up Agvolution and a local university which are using IoT technology and smart sensors to create digital twins of natural sites in the country.

In a statement, the operator explained it worked with Agri-tech company Agvolution and Friedrich-Alexander University to develop sensors to monitor various factors that contribute to the life of trees, including temperature, soil humidity, air pressure and precipitation.

Data collected from these sensors allow Agvolution to develop the digital twins of the monitored sites, helping local authorities to “determine the priority of care for trees and adjust watering levels accordingly”. Vodafone noted the live data is “especially important” in dry seasons, where more attention needs to be put on watering cycles to keep trees healthy.

A person wearing gloves is installing a circular solar ground light into the soil, reminiscent of Vodafone's sleek design aesthetics. The light has a glass surface with solar panels and a label marked

A trial for the project has been completed in Erlangen, and Vodafone claims it devised a NB-IoT machine network to support remote areas in the city.

The move has helped authorities “better plan and organise the watering of trees in the summer”, and is estimated to have saved 250 cubic metres of water in Erlangen, said Vodafone.

Authorities in Berlin, Hannover, Potsdam, Garbsen, Bamberg and Pirmasens have started working with Vodafone and its partners to extend the initiative. The project began in early 2023 and is due to conclude in September.

Vodafone noted global warming has led to a loss of natural sites and caused the maintenance of greenery to become much harder, adding the use of IoT can aid in the work of maintaining healthy trees more effectively while reducing water waste, carbon emissions and cost.