Telstra and Ericsson have extended the coverage of their Narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) data connections in Australia. The cells are now capable of reaching 100 kilometers away from a base station.
Ericsson, which announced the new milestone, designed the software used to activate the technology. The testing expands the NB-IoT's previous range limit of 40 kilometers. Also, since it is activated through software upgrades, no changes to NB-IoT devices are necessary, Ericsson said. This can be especially helpful for commercial IoT programs which may cover hundreds of devices broadly distributed across various work sites.
Telstra’s Network and Infrastructure Engineering executive director, Channa Seneviratne, said:
Once again Telstra, working closely in partnership with Ericsson, has delivered innovation that ensures the benefits of IoT technology can be enjoyed by the largest number of Australians, not just those in the cities and towns.
Emilio Romeo, Ericsson’s Managing Director Australia and New Zealand, added that the expanded capability will help all those in the agricultural and logistics sectors. Telstra demonstrated its mobile network with a Captis NB-IoT temperature sensor located 94 kilometers from the Telstra base station on Mount Cenn Cruaich in New South Wales, Australia. The deployment also demonstrated the network’s ability to reach remote locations with a Captis sensor located three floors below ground level in an underground parking lot in central Sydney.
The expansion of the NB-IoT's data connection is part of efforts to connect the rural and regional areas in the country through Telstra’s LTE service.