Telstra deploys Ericsson software to enable one of the world’s largest Cat-M1 networks

Telstra first to complete network software deployment nationally to enable one of the world’s largest Cat-M1 IoT footprint and has commenced localized Cat-M1 trials. Cat-M1 technology is suited for IoT use cases like telematics, wearables and smart metering. By supporting massive amounts of lower-cost devices, Ericsson network software enables Telstra to accelerate Australia’s IoT ecosystem.

Ericsson and Telstra have completed their nationwide deployment of network software to enable the one of the world’s largest Cat-M1 LTE networks, with Ericsson’s Massive IoT network software at the foundation for both radio and core networks. Cat-M1 capability will allow Telstra to deploy a comprehensive range of Internet of Things (IoT) applications quickly and flexibly – accelerating the growth of Australia’s IoT ecosystem.

Cat-M1 is a significant step forward to delivering cellular-based IoT capabilities. Cat-M1 is ideally suited to use cases requiring mobility, voice support and moderate bitrates in the order of hundreds of kbps, like vehicle telematics, asset tracking, consumer and healthcare wearables, and smart electricity metering.

Telstra has commenced testing Cat-M1 functionality at early customer trials in areas of Melbourne and Tasmania, Australia. One of the trial results will be showcased in the Ericsson booth at Mobile World Congress 2017, via a remote demonstration of live telemetry data including leaf wetness, soil moisture, soil temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, collected from sensors at Pooley Wines in regional Tasmania.

The sensors have been connected to the Telstra LTE Cat-M1 network by a Sierra Wireless AirPrime embedded module based on Altair’s Cat M1 chipset. This end to end Cat-M1 for Smart Agriculture demonstration has been developed by Telstra in conjunction with Ericsson’s Agribusiness partner ‘The Yield’ using Bosch hardware and is carried by the Telstra live network powered by Ericsson’s Massive IoT network software supporting Cat-M1.

As Cat-M1 devices and solutions become commercially available, Telstra is set to support its operations across its expansive 4G network which covers over 98 percent of the Australian population. Telstra will be launching IoT plans, making it an affordable transformational business solution to deliver competitive advantage.

Mike Wright, Telstra Group Managing Director, Networks, says: “Telstra’s 4GX network is one of the most advanced and largest 4G networks in the world. Building Cat-M1 services for IoT using the scale and standardization of the 3GPP roadmap allows the rapid rollout of Cat-M1 through a new network software activation and provides the ideal platform for a proliferation of IoT devices and applications. It is expected that Cat-M1 devices will be available in Australia in 2017 and therefore our network readiness is essential.

“Cat-M1 meets the demands of LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) IoT applications. Advantages include low cost, low power consumption, deep coverage, massive numbers of connections, and high reliability of transmission. Cat-M1 can enhance LTE coverage for underground and in-building areas that challenge existing coverage. Combined with Telstra’s existing leading LTE coverage, customers can deploy a range of near real time applications in logistics, utilities, medicine, transport, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and many more,” says Wright.

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, says: “Together with Telstra, we have moved quickly to activate Cat-M1 capability with Ericsson software. As consumers and enterprises are rapidly embracing the opportunities of IoT, we are enabling the LTE network to be ready for the next phase of user demands.”

Cat-M1 can support an improved coverage (up to 15dB gain, compared to Cat 1), which will allow signals to penetrate further to reach devices deployed deep indoors and remote locations. Cat-M1 supported with Power Save Mode and Extended DRX will enable up to 10+ years of battery life for typical delay-tolerant, low-throughput and infrequent data transmission applications.

IoT is becoming a key factor in one sector after another, enabling new types of services and applications, altering business models, and creating new marketplaces. IoT is about the convergence between the physical and the virtual, between manufacturer and consumer, and between tiny hardware components and large-scale, cloud-based software to create possibilities we have never seen before.

Ericsson at Mobile World Congress 2017

Anything can happen on the digital frontier, a promising but undiscovered future. From February 27 to March 2 in Barcelona, Spain, Ericsson is demonstrating a collaborative approach and innovative solutions to succeed in this arena.

With our customers and partners, we work across industries, physical boundaries and perceived limitations. Join us in Hall 2 or online during MWC 2017 and engage in conversations and demonstrations about our favorite things: 5G; platforms and services for IT, Cloud, Networks, and TV & Media; connected solutions for industries; the Internet of Things; and partnering for success.

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