Telstra and Ericsson have successfully deployed and tested Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) data connections up to 100km from a base-station in Telstra’s commercial network.
Ericsson claims the test is the longest-range NB-IoT connection of its kind, and 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 further cements Telstra’s leadership as Australia’s only operator and one of the first globally to offer both NB-IoT and Cat M1 technologies.
Telstra launched Cat M1 coverage in 2017 over an approximate three million square kilometers before deploying NB-IoT technology in its IoT network in January 2018. With this new capability, Telstra’s NB-IoT coverage increases to more than three and a half million square kilometers and will provide enhanced accessibility and reliability.
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, Australia. 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. A solar powered Metos weather station from PessI Instruments was also on display reporting temperature, relative humidity, rain fall and leaf wetness.