Telstra plans to bring 98% IoT network coverage in Australia

Telstra plans to bring 98% IoT network coverage in Australia
Australian telecommunications firm Telstra announced it will partner with Swedish company Ericsson to deploy an IoT network nationwide later this year, which, the company said, will be the first of its kind in Australia.

Telstra will deploy Cat-M1 LTE networks using Ericsson’s Massive IoT software along with the company’s 4G networks in the country. Trials of the technology have started begun in Melbourne and Tasmania.

As long as Cat-M1 devices and solutions become commercially available, which is expected to occur in the second half of 2017, coverage will reach 98% of all Australia, Telstra said.

With low cost, long battery life and deep coverage advantages, the Cat-M1 technology is a type of NarrowBand IoT (NB-IoT) and Low Power Wide Area Network (LPWAN). The technology is suitable for devices with mobility, voice support and moderate bitrate characteristics, like consumer healthcare wearables and smart meters, for example.

“Cat-M1 can enhance LTE coverage for underground and in-building areas that challenge existing coverage, said Mike Wright, the managing director of Networks at Telstra Group. “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,” Wright added.

Telstra also plans to launch IoT solutions allowing businesses to offer various IoT applications.

Other companies are also involved in this deployment. For example, 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.

In a separate announcement, Telstra says it is partnering with Qualcomm and Ericsson to test 5G New Radio technology. The trial aims to increase network capacity and to accelerate the commercialization of the global 3GPP 5G standard.

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