Telstra, Australia’s largest mobile and telecommunications company, recently unveiled its plans to create the country’s first nationwide Internet of Things (IoT) network. Telstra also announced plans of upgrading its optical networks and upcoming trials testing the network’s 5G capabilities. Telstra collaborated with Swedish-based multi-networking and telecommunications equipment company Ericsson to develop and implement the network software, which will enable Cat-M1 LTE networks using Ericsson’s software to allow IoT devices to connect to the network.
“Telstra is the first operator to deploy the national IoT-enabled mobile network, which will enable an IoT footprint among the largest in the world,” the statement from Telstra read. “Cat-M1 is ideally suited to use cases requiring mobility, voice support, and moderate bitrates in the order of hundreds of kbps, like vehicle telematics, asset tracking, consumer and healthcare wearables, and smart electricity metering.”
Telstra is already in the process of conducting trial runs for their IoT network in Melbourne and Tasmania, and hopes to begin the process of expanding across the country midway through 2017. The national IoT network can be utilized in many real-time fields like logistics, utilities, medicine, transport, mining, agriculture, and manufacturing (just to mention a few). The network has as series of benefits for consumers such as low costs and power consumption, high-quality coverage, an array of connections, and high reliability of transmission. The Cat-M1 networks will even provide stronger coverage underground and indoor areas that will rival pre-existing network coverage already applied to these areas.
Ericsson is expected to expand Telstra’s metro, long haul, and regional optical networks with packet-optical solutions over the next three years. Ericsson’s optical program will support the projected growth of the network’s traffic from IoT, 5G, cloud, and media services.
“This development is a big step forward in 5G readiness,” says Telstra Managing Director of Networks Mike Wright. “This collaboration between Telstra, Ericsson, and Qualcomm Technologies will help ensure 5G is ready for the Australian environment, including making sure it is able to be scaled up for our vast distance and sparse population, as well as ensuring our customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy the benefits of 5G.”
Telstra and Ericsson have also partnered with US-based telecommunications company Qualcomm to run trials on 5G New Radio technology. The corporate entities involved hope these trials can prepare Telstra in launching their 5G mobile network for when global standards and technologies become ready for commercialization. The trials will also highlight new technologies that use more available bandwidth at higher-frequency bands to increase network capacity and accelerate commercialization of global 3GPP 5G standard.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)