Ericsson and Telstra say they have deployed and tested NB-IoT data connections up to 100 km from a base station on Telstra’s commercial network — the longest-range NB-IoT connection of its kind – which will help the incumbent telco extend its LTE footprint in rural and regional Australia.
The technology solution, designed by Ericsson, is a software upgrade that extends the 3GPP standards-based limit for NB-IoT from around 40 km to 100 km, with no changes required to NB-IoT devices.
Telstra launched Cat M1 coverage in 2017 over an approximate three million square km before deploying NB-IoT in January 2018. With this new capability, Telstra’s NB-IoT coverage increases to more than three and a half million square km and will provide enhanced accessibility and reliability, said Channa Seneviratne, Telstra’s executive director of network and infrastructure engineering.
The extended range NB-IoT network capabilities were demonstrated on Telstra’s mobile network at last week’s Telstra Vantage Conference in Melbourne. The demo featured a Captis NB-IoT temperature sensor, sourced from mIoT, located 94 km from the Telstra base station on Mount Cenn Cruaich in New South Wales.
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.