Telstra activates nationwide NB-IoT network in Australia
Telstra said the new launch will benefit industries such as transportation and logistics, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
Australian telecoms operator Telstra announced it deployed narrowband technology in its IoT network in major cities and many regional towns across the country.
The operator said the NB-IoT deployment adds to an existing 3 million square kilometers of LTE-M coverage it turned on in August 2017.
With this new launch, Telstra claimed to be the only carrier in Australia and one of the first carriers in the world to offer both Narrowband and Cat M1 IoT technologies.
Telstra chief operations officer, Robyn Denholm, said Narrowband technology would accelerate the adoption of IoT in Australia. “We already offer our customers Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network and with our IoT network now we have added the ability to support millions of new devices like sensors, trackers and alarms operating at very low data rates that can sit inside machines and vehicles, reach deep inside buildings and have a battery life of years rather than hours and days,” the executive said.
“These devices will be the centrepiece of the internet of things, which involves enabling everyday objects to send and receive data and will transform the way we all live and work in the years ahead. 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.
The executive said that the new deployment will benefit enterprise customers in industries like transportation and logistics, mining, manufacturing and agriculture.
Telstra also said it 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 the city of Launceston. Under the agreement an IoT lab will be established in the city and Telstra will back the creation of a Tasmanian agritech start-up accelerator.
Denholm said for Australia to take advantage of the opportunities offered by IoT technologies, the country needs a vibrant local ecosystem involving technology companies, start-ups, universities and government collaborating on new products and solutions.
The Australian telco is also focusing on 5G trials to pave the way for a future commercial launch. In November 2017, Telstra announced the launch of a 5G testing center on the Gold Coast from which it will trial new networking technologies in partnership with Swedish vendor Ericsson.
The center’s location was chosen due to Telstra’s intention to run a trial 5G network during the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in 2018.
Telstra said it would work with Ericsson on key 5G technologies including Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (Massive MIMO), adaptive beamforming and beam tracking, and OFDM-based waveforms in its Gold Coast center.
In 2016, Ericsson and Telstra had achieved download speeds of between 18Gbps and 22Gbps during the first live trial of 5G in Australia, with the trials conducted in a real-world outdoor environment using Ericsson’s 5G radio testbed, Massive MIMO, and beam forming.