Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and KPN successfully trial Cat-M1 technology

Europe’s first successful Cat-M1 trial in customer premises. Cat-M1 is a new technology for the cellular machine-type communications needed to enable Internet of Things (IoT). Cat-M1 milestone achieved using Ericsson Networks Software and Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE IoT modem.

Ericsson (NASDAQ: ERIC), Qualcomm Technologies,Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, and Dutch telecommunications operator, KPN, have successfully conducted Europe’s first trial of Cat-M1 (also known as LTE-M) technology in KPN’s test labs in the Netherlands, using the MDM9206 LTE modem.

Cat-M1 supports mobility and medium bitrates, allowing for a wider range of Internet of Things (IoT) use cases – including Intelligent Transportation Systems (ITS), wearables and smart metering for utilities.

The network and device testing of data communication on Cat-M1 – a new 3GPP standard for IoT use cases and scenarios – utilized the 800 MHz frequency band. This milestone was achieved after successful comprehensive interoperability testing of Qualcomm Technologies’ MDM9206 LTE modem together with Ericsson Networks Software 17A and Ericsson virtual Evolved Packet Core.

More and more operators are recognizing the value LTE IoT technologies, including Cat-M1 technology as a means to support a massive amount of connected devices at a lower cost. Cat-M1 provides a unique combination of enhanced coverage and long battery life, as well as security-rich and reliable connectivity for a new generation of IoT applications and services. Cat-M1 is ideally suited to use cases requiring mobility or bitrates in the order of hundreds of kbps, like vehicle telematics, asset tracking, consumer and healthcare wearables, and smart electricity metering.

Amongst the key features of Cat-M1 are:

  • Extended coverage with better link budget (up to 15 dB, compared to Cat-1) allowing signals to penetrate through more walls and floors to reach devices deployed deep indoors or in remote locations
  • Up to 10+ years of battery life for typical delay-tolerant, low-throughput applications utilizing Power Save Mode and Extended DRX
  • Lower device cost due to reduced complexity
  • Up to 375 kbps peak rate for half duplex operation

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson, says: "IoT presents great business potential for mobile operators and new IoT connectivity technology like Cat-M1 allows operators to address the vast diversity of IoT use cases across their networks, accelerating IoT growth for industry and society."

Cat-M1 can be fully multiplexed on existing LTE carriers and can provide up to 1 Mbps in full-duplex mode using as little as 1.4 MHz spectrum. In half-duplex operation, the maximum data rate that can be sustained is 300/375 kbps in the downlink/uplink. Cat-M1 also has the possibility of connected mode mobility, which is important for more mobile applications with higher service requirements.

Vieri Vanghi, Vice President, Product Management, QUALCOMM Europe, Inc., says: “We are pleased to see yet another successful CAT M1 trial based on our MDM9206 LTE modem, which has been designed to support applications and services for the IoT, as well as connect millions of devices at a low cost. We look forward to working with Ericsson and KPN in order to bring a whole new range of these IoT services, especially in the areas of transportation, smart energy and asset tracking, to users in Europe.”

The MDM9206 LTE modem represents Qualcomm Technologies’ latest innovation and is engineered to support low-power, low-bandwidth and cost efficient IoT applications and services. It is designed to support LTE category M1, upgradeable to LTE M1+ NB-1 dual mode with an anticipated upcoming software update. The dual-mode approach combines the best of both technologies and provides a global scalable solution for IoT products well suited for a diverse set of operator deployments. The category M1 and NB-1 LTE modes designed in the MDM9206 modem bring many enhancements and optimizations to LTE that can help reduce IoT device complexity. The new technologies can also co-exist with today’s LTE infrastructure and spectrum, which offers a superior solution to proprietary technologies for low-power wide area networks.

Notes to editors

Ericsson is present today in all high-traffic LTE markets including the US, Japan and South Korea, and is ranked first for handling the most global LTE traffic. In addition, 40 percent of the world's total mobile traffic is carried over Ericsson networks. More than 270 LTE RAN and Evolved Packet Core networks have been delivered by Ericsson worldwide, of which 200 are live commercially.

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About KPN

KPN is the leading telecommunications and ICT service provider in the Netherlands, offering wireline and wireless telephony, internet and TV to consumers and end-to-end telecom and ICT services to business customers. KPN provides wholesale network services to third parties and operates an efficient IP-based infrastructure with global scale in international wholesale through iBasis.

About Qualcomm Incorporated

Qualcomm’s technologies powered the smartphone revolution and connected billions of people. We pioneered 3G and 4G – and now, we are leading the way to 5G and a new era of intelligent, connected devices. Our products are revolutionizing industries including automotive, computing, IoT and healthcare, and are allowing millions of devices to connect with each other in ways never before imagined. Qualcomm Incorporated includes our licensing business, QTL, and the vast majority of our patent portfolio. Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., a subsidiary of Qualcomm Incorporated, operates, along with its subsidiaries, all of our engineering, research and development functions, and all of our products and services businesses, including our semiconductor business, QCT, and our mobile, automotive, computing, IOT and healthcare businesses.

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Qualcomm MDM is a product of Qualcomm Technologies, Inc. Qualcomm is a trademark of Qualcomm Incorporated, registered in the United States and other countries.

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