Telstra starts adding NB-IoT to its cellular IoT offering

Image credit: Kim Britten /

Telstra announced that it has deployed NB-IoT technology in its cellular IoT network in major Australian cities and many regional towns.

The NB-IoT rollout is in addition to the LTE Cat M1 IoT coverage Telstra turned on in 2017. Both Cat M1 and NB-IoT are cellular IoT standards developed by the 3GPP for LTE networks – NB-IoT is designed for low-bandwidth, low-power IoT apps.

Telstra chief operations officer Robyn Denholm said offering both Cat M1 and NB-IoT to give enterprise customers in industries such as transportation and logistics, mining, manufacturing and agriculture the opportunity to choose which technology best suits their needs.

“Cat M1 is well suited to applications with data in the 100s of kilobits per second with extended range and long battery life, such as a personal health monitor or a device used to measure vehicle performance.  Narrowband is better suited to applications sending even smaller amounts of data and operating with an even longer battery life, such as a moisture sensor or livestock tracking device,” said Denholm.

Denholm said NB-IoT would accelerate IoT in Australia by opening up the opportunity to connect millions of new devices such as sensors, trackers and alarms sending small volumes of data at very low power levels over Telstra’s mobile network.

“We expect the new mobile network capabilities we have deployed will drive rapid growth and over the next five years we forecast we will be connecting four times more devices than we do today,” said Denholm, adding that Telstra currently connects more than two million IoT devices.

Denholm claims that Telstra is the only carrier in Australia – and one of the first carriers in the world – to offer both NB-IoT and Cat M1 IoT.

Meanwhile, Telstra also announced it had entered into a smart city partnership with the Tasmanian State Government, the Federal Government, several local Councils and the University of Tasmania to develop and trial new IoT solutions and drive the uptake of IoT in Launceston.

Under the agreement an IoT lab will be established in Launceston and Telstra will support the creation of a Tasmanian Agritech Start-up Accelerator.

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