Internet of Things (IoT) connectivity is taking a step forward in Australia with the new partnership recently announced by Australian service provider Telstra and Swedish multinational networking and telecommunications company Ericsson.
The two companies, which deployed long-range NB-IoT connection in the country in September 2018, said this time they are combining Telstra’s cellular IoT capabilities and Ericsson’s connectivity services.
The partnership announced in Barcelona on the eve of Mobile World Congress (MWC 2019), will bring together Telstra’s cellular IoT capabilities and Ericsson’s connectivity services to enable original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) and enterprises to deploy, manage and scale IoT connected devices and applications globally.
Starting March 30, the partners said Telstra’s enterprise customers will be able to manage, access and track their IoT devices and networked assets at a local, national or global level via access to Telstra’s cellular IoT capabilities, including Telstra’s extensive Narrowband-IoT (NB-IoT) and CAT-M1 technology.
In September 2018, Ericsson and Telstra extended NB-IoT’s range, increasing Telstra’s NB-IoT coverage to over 3.5 million square kilometers, allowing data connections up to 100 kilometers, or 60 kilometers more than 3GPP standards-based limits.
Telstra said now there will be support for eSIM (eUICC) capabilities via the connectivity management service from IoT Accelerator solution and other technologies that will allow global enterprise customers and OEMs to deploy their products and services more easily on Telstra’s network.
“Our partnership with Ericsson will offer our customers an easier way to manage and scale connected devices and applications, and with our combination of NB-IoT and Cat-M1 technologies, international enterprises, across a range of industries, will have international IoT connectivity solutions,” affirmed Hakan Eriksson, Telstra’s Technology Executive, in a news release.
The Ericsson IoT Accelerator connectivity management service (previously Device Connection Platform) is a unified connectivity and device management platform that is now supporting more than 30 operators from over a hundred countries.
Ericsson said it now services more than 3,500 enterprises in various industries to manage IoT connectivity services worldwide.
“We are enabling enterprises to launch IoT services on a global scale and helping the industry to capitalize on the tremendous potential that IoT brings,” said Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand.
Since the start of the year, Telstra has been beefing up its network capacity. In January, it added capacity to its subsea cable network, the largest in Asia-Pacific, which it said is expected to strengthen Telstra’s Japan to the US route. It also announced an AU$160 million investment in the Victorian mobile network to improve data speeds and capacity.
Speaking at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, CEO Andrew Pen announced device partnerships with 5G smartphone manufacturers in preparation for the rollout of 5G handsets later this year.
“Throughout 2019, we will be extending our 5G footprint even further to cover more cities, selected regional areas and traffic hotspots, ensuring even more Australians can access Telstra’s leading 5G technology,” Penn was quoted as saying in a news release.
Throughout 2018, Ericsson has also focused on driving 5G adoption and increasing investments in R&D for technology. The year was a landmark year for the Swedish company as it returned to profitability and saw the first commercial deployment of 5G, according to its latest financial report.