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July 26, 2019

Otari Village, Nagano Prefecture
KCCS Mobile Engineering Co., Ltd.
Tokyo Denki University

"Otari Smartson Project" Started with IoT in Agriculture:

Implemented Student's Idea to Resolve Local Issues through Industry-Government-Academia Collaboration

The government of Otari Village, Nagano Prefecture (Mayor: Yoshiaki Nakamura), KCCS Mobile Engineering Co., Ltd. (Head Office: Minato-ku, Tokyo; President & CEO: Hyngbae Kim; hereinafter called "KCME,") and Tokyo Denki University (Head Office: Adachi-ku, Tokyo; hereinafter called TDU) are pleased to announce the launch of the "Otari Smartson Project", which uses IoT to address regional issues. Smartson is a coined word that means "Smart Village."

The "Otari Smartson Project" is designed to resolve local issues in Otari Village using IoT. This phase of the project aims to save labor in monitoring the water level of paddy fields, which leads to reduce the burden on farmers who are aging and facing labor shortages. We started testing in the village with about ten units on July 12, 2019.

Existing monitoring systems for paddy field water levels had cost-effectiveness problems. The demonstration using "CMS (Comfort Management System) for Paddy," a monitoring system for paddy water levels jointly developed by KCME and TDU, focuses on whether it is possible to manufacture a low-cost version of the system with a single function from the perspective of reducing the burden on farmers. The ultimate goal is to help reduce the amount of abandoned farmland in the future by making it easier even for small farmers to install the system and reduce the labor required to monitor water levels.

Members at the start of the project (from KCME and MatsuiLab, TDU)

In March 2019, Otari Village and KCME signed a comprehensive partnership agreement, which aims to address various local issues and revitalize the local community. A student team of TDU entered the "IoT idea contest: making life fun with Sigfox*1" in December 2018 sponsored by Kyocera Communication System Co., Ltd., KCME's parent company, with an idea titled "Easy and Inexpensive IoT Implementation to Make Paddy Fields Smart" to win an award for excellence in the Prototype category.

In the Otari Smartson Project, these three parties joined with their respective perspectives and started the demonstration using the newly developed CMS for Paddy and the existing Sigfox*2 network in the village. This is the first project in Otari Village to utilize new communication technology and implement students' ideas in the real world. In the collaboration between industry, government, and academia, the "Otari Smartson Project" will continue to seek to address regional challenges in Otari Village using the LPWA "Sigfox".


*1: Review report on "IoT idea contest (FY2018): making life fun with Sigfox"


"2: Sigfox is an LPWA communication standard for IoT provided by Sigfox S.A. in France. It has been broadly deployed in 60 countries mainly in Europe from the first deployment in France in 2009. In Japan, Kyocera Communication Systems Corporation is the exclusive provider of the Sigfox network. As of the end of March 2019, the coverage rate for people in Japan is 95%.

For reference
Outline of "IoT idea contest (FY2019): use of Sigfox"

■KCCS Mobile Engineering Co., Ltd. (KCME)

KCCS Mobile Engineering commenced operations in 2011 intending to become a "global company that contributes to the development of communities where people can continue to thrive without disparities," centering around optimal solutions that integrate mobile and ICT. It is developing a wide range of businesses, not only in the fields of Mobile Internet, AI, IoT, Big Data, and virtual cloud, which are the foundations of the information revolution, but also in their subdivided fields such as 5G, SDN, NFV, GPON, and related engineering. The company is also actively expanding its business not only in Japan but also overseas, especially in the rapidly developing Southeast Asian region, where it has established offices to promote its business globally. KCME is a member of KYOCERA Communication Systems Co., Ltd. (KCCS) and the Sigfox Partner Program.

■Tokyo Denki University (TDU)

Tokyo Denki University is a science and engineering university with approximately 10,000 students. It has five undergraduate schools in Tokyo Senju Campus: School of System Design and Technology, School of Science and Technology for Future Life, School of Engineering, School of Information Environment, and School of Engineering Evening Division; School of Science and Engineering in Saitama Hatoyama Campus; and five graduate schools. Founded in 1907, TDU continues to cultivate excellent human resources to meet the needs of society, changing with the times to make significant contributions to the development of Japan’s science and technology, based on the two educational maxims: "Respect for practical study" and "Students first" with the mission of "development of human resources who contribute to society by technology."

Contact for media inquiries:

About technology or networks
Yuri Tokunou, Public Relations Office, KCCS Mobile Engineering Co., Ltd.

About TDU's activities
Honda or Ishii, Planning & PR, Department of General Affairs, TDU

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