The two companies say the testing involved the longest-range NB-IoT connection of its kind, and is a key milestone towards increasing Telstra’s LTE footprint in rural and regional Australia.
The “technology breakthrough”, designed by Ericsson, extends the 3GPP standards-based limit from around 40km out to 100km and is activated entirely through software upgrades, with no changes required to NB-IoT devices.
The innovation is slated as further cementing “Telstra’s leadership as Australia’s only operator and one of the first globally to offer both NB-IoT and Cat M1 technologies”.
Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s executive director, network and infrastructure engineering, says: “Telstra already had Australia’s largest IoT coverage with Cat M1 across our 4G metro, regional and rural coverage footprint. With this NB-IoT extended range feature, we have now extended our coverage to more than three and a half million square kilometres, delivering our customers the best IoT coverage and capability in the country”.
“Once again Telstra, working closely in partnership with Ericsson, has delivered innovation that ensures the benefits of IoT technology can be enjoyed by the largest number of Australians, not just those in the cities and towns.”
“This game-changing capability builds on Ericsson’s long history of delivering extended range cellular solutions,” says Emilio Romeo, Ericsson’s managing director Australia and New Zealand.
“We’re partnering with Telstra to deliver its customers a world-leading capability in NB-IoT extended range cells and demonstrating the huge opportunity that IoT represents in rural and regional areas for both Australia and globally, particularly for logistics and agriculture.”
The extended range NB-IoT network capabilities were demonstrated on Telstra’s mobile network at the Telstra Vantage Conference held in Melbourne last week.
In the demonstration the extended-range capability of Telstra’s mobile network was shown with a Captis NB-IoT temperature sensor, sourced from mIoT, located 94km from the Telstra base station on Mount Cenn Cruaich in New South Wales.
And the network’s ability to reach difficult urban locations was demonstrated with a Captis sensor from mIoT located three floors below ground level in an underground parking lot in central Sydney that was beyond the reach of regular LTE signals.