Ericsson and Qualcomm test LTE Cat-M1 for Telstra’s pleasure

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Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies say they have successfully executed network and device testing of data communications on LTE Cat-M1 for IoT applications and services using the 700-MHz band.

This was achieved through the successful interoperability testing of Qualcomm’s MDM9206 modem at Ericsson headquarters in Sweden and witnessed by executives from Telstra.

Key features of Cat-M1 LTE include extended coverage with better link budget (up to 15 dB, compared to Cat-1), allowing LTE signals to penetrate through more walls and floors to reach devices deployed deep indoors or in remote locations; up to ten years of battery life; and lower complexity and cost due to single antenna and half duplex operation at up to 375 kbps.

“Cat-M1 is a significant step forward, towards delivering cellular-based IoT capabilities which extend the capabilities of Telstra’s mobile network,” said Mike Wright, group managing director of networks for Telstra. “Cat-M1 will deliver both longer battery life and extended depth of coverage benefits that will be further complemented with the expected arrival of Narrowband IoT [Cat-NB1] devices later next year, along with a progression toward the greatly reduced module costs.”

Wright said Telstra’s enterprise customers will greatly benefit from the productivity benefits that Cat-M1 – and later, Cat-NB1 – will support.

The test utilized Ericsson Networks Software 17A, which Ericsson says harnesses powerful software features to deliver extended coverage, lower device cost relative to mobile broadband devices, and overall lower power consumption. Collectively, these new capabilities will facilitate a boom in new devices connecting a range of internet connected “things”, driving productivity and creativity across a range of industries, said Thomas Norén, head of Product Area Network Products at Ericsson. “Cat-M1 will enable operators to drive new opportunities in the fast-emerging IoT market.”

Qualcomm’s MDM9206 modem is designed to support LTE category M1, upgradeable to LTE M1+ NB-1 dual mode with an anticipated upcoming software update. The dual-mode approach combines the best of both technologies and provides a global, scalable solution for IoT products, well suited for a diverse set of operator deployments. The category M1 and NB-1 LTE modes designed in the MDM9206 modem bring many enhancements and optimizations to LTE that will help reduce IoT device complexity. The new technologies can also co-exist with today’s LTE infrastructure and spectrum, which offers a superior solution to proprietary technologies for low-power wide-area networks.

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