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Ericsson, Qualcomm successfully test CAT-M1 IoT

William Payne
November 10, 2016

Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully carried out data network and device testing on Cat M1 with the MDM9206 modem, designed to support LTE Cat-M1 for Internet of Things (IoT) applications and services. The tests utilised the 700 MHz band (Band 28). The tests are a proof of a technology that can extend IoT networks via LTE signals to penetrate through more walls and floors to reach devices deployed deep indoors or in remote locations, and provide up to 10 years of battery life for typical delay-tolerant, low-throughput applications utilising Power Save Mode and Extended DRX.

The tests were carried out on the MDM9206 modem, a product of Qualcomm Technologies, at Ericsson headquarters in Sweden and witnessed by executives from Australian telecommunications and media group Telstra. 

Ericsson achieved this new network capability via its network software LPWA and IoT solution, Ericsson Networks Software 17A, which it introduced in January this year. 

According to Ericsson, these new capabilities will facilitate a boom in new IoT device connectivity.

The Qualcomm Technologies MDM9206 modem is designed to support LTE category M1, upgradeable to LTE M1+ NB-1 dual mode with an anticipated upcoming software update. 

According to Qualcomm Technologies, the dual-mode approach combines the best of both technologies and provides a global, scalable solution for IoT products, well suited for a diverse set of operator deployments. The category M1 and NB-1 LTE modes designed in the MDM9206 modem bring many enhancements and optimisations to LTE that will help reduce IoT device complexity. The new technologies can also co-exist with today's LTE infrastructure and spectrum, which offers a superior solution to proprietary technologies for low-power wide-area networks. 

Mike Wright, Group Managing Director Networks, Telstra, said: "Cat-M1 will deliver both longer battery life and extended depth of coverage benefits that will be further complemented with the expected arrival of Narrowband IoT (Cat-NB1) devices later next year, along with a progression toward the greatly reduced module costs. Telstra expects its enterprise customers will greatly benefit from the productivity benefits Cat-M1, and later Cat-NB1, will support and looks forward to connecting a huge range of new and innovative IoT-enabled devices on the Telstra network."

Thomas Norén, Head of Product Area Network Products, Ericsson, said: "Cat-M1 will enable operators to drive new opportunities in the fast-emerging IoT market, which Ericsson believes is a key component of the Networked Society."

Serge Willenegger, product management SVP, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., said: "This is an important milestone that will also support the delivery of a new range of IoT services such as smart energy, asset tracking, industrial control and automation, building security, and more."