Ericsson and Telstra have deployed Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) data connections up to 100 kilometers from a base-station in Telstra’s commercial network in Australia.
Currently the longest-range NB-IoT connection of its kind, the technology breakthrough is expected to increase Telstra’s LTE footprint in rural and regional Australia.
It also extends the 3GPP standards-based limit from around 40 kilometers out to 100 kilometers and is activated entirely through software upgrades, with no changes required to NB-IoT devices, according to Ericsson.
In 2017, Telstra launched Cat M1 coverage over an approximate three million square kilometers before deploying NBB-IoT technology in its IoT network in January 2018.
The extended range of NB-IoT network capabilities increases the coverage to more than three and a half million square kilometers and will allow the network to reach difficult urban locations as demonstrated on Telstra’s mobile network at the Telstra Vantage Conference in September.
The demo showed a Captis NB-IoT temperature sensor, sourced from mIoT, located 94 kilometers from the Telstra base station on Mount Cenn Cruaich in New South Wales, Australia.
A solar-powered Metos weather station from PessI Instruments on display was seen reporting temperature, relative humidity, rainfall, and leaf wetness.
Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s Executive Director, Network and Infrastructure Engineering, said in a media statement that the innovation ensures that “the benefits of IoT technology can be enjoyed by the largest number of Australians, not just those in the cities and towns.”
Emilio Romeo, Ericsson’s Managing Director Australia and New Zealand affirmed that there is a huge opportunity for IoT in rural and regional areas, particularly for logistics and agriculture.
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