Mobile IoT Doubled in Range – Without the Need for Hardware Upgrades

October 24, 2018

Barbara Pareglio, Technical Director, Internet of Things Programme, GSMA

Mobile IoT has turned a corner: one that makes connection of even the remotest areas, such as those in rural Australia, all the more feasible.  Last month a partnership between Ericsson and Telstra successfully tested a deployment of NB-IoT fully 100km away from the nearest base station – the longest-range connection of its kind so far,  representing a leap of more than 100% above the previous normal range of around 40km. Perhaps most significantly, this was achieved wholly through upgrades to software: there was no requirement to overhaul infrastructure, and no need to replace or modify devices.  In Telstra’s case, that has equated to an extension of coverage to 3.5 million square kilometres without needing to replace a single sensor, install a single extra base station, or insert a single extra chip.

The implications of this sudden advance in capability are highly significant. The increase in coverage and penetration enables service to devices which might otherwise not have been economical to connect – smart metering in highly remote locations, for instance, will become far more viable in cases where no additional transmission hardware is necessary.  There are also profound implications for the future of smart agriculture: as the world’s population grows to a projected 10 billion by mid-century, the ability to connect huge tracts of land far from more built up areas – and help to increase crop yields and efficiency – will prove invaluable.

This is by no means however solely, or even primarily, a way to reach distant outposts. Such deployments serve as a useful illustration of what is now possible, but will always make up a small minority of the use cases – and, as such, cannot underpin the business case. Smart cities and industrial centres will make up the bulk of the commercial opportunities here – the key win comes from reducing the number of base stations needed to achieve the same level of coverage.  Smart industry can be made far more economical, boosting local economies and freeing up money for jobs and investment, and allow industrial workers to be relieved from the most dangerous duties with connected hardware. Ericsson anticipates of one such innovation in industry that “this solution alone, which only costs US$20 per screwdriver, will cut manual maintenance work in half.”

So how has this been possible?  Traditional LTE networks transmit data in two separate streams – one for user data, and one for managing the connection itself.  Mobile IoT allows everything to be transmitted in a single stream – allowing for simplified signalling and encoding, channel spacing, and the use of repetition in subcarriers. Streamlining the infrastructural requirements alongside these existing advances over traditional LTE means mobile network operators are now able to provide new technologies available with a single flick of the switch and open up new opportunities for service providers, municipal authorities, industry and individual citizens – at lower cost to all involved. We’ll keep you informed of where this sharp uptick in connectivity takes us over the next few months, and are looking forward to finding out.

Find out more about Mobile IoT from the GSMA Mobile IoT Resource Library here.

 

Back

GSMA IoT On-Demand Webinar: Cellular – the missing link for drones? Join leading industry experts as they discuss the latest developments in how cellular communications enables BVLOS operation of commercial drones. This webinar was originally br...

Read more | See all Resources

Video: IoT Big Data In this short video, discover how the GSMA and operators are developing a collaborative and harmonised big data ecosystem that will help remove technical and commercial barriers,...

Read more | See all Resources

GSMA IoT On-Demand Webinar: Industry 4.0 – Optimising Industrial IoT A total of 70 Mobile IoT networks, including LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) and NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT), have been launched, enabling a fraction of the 25.2 billion IoT...

Read more | See all Resources

Development Guide: NB-IoT for Agriculture The GSMA Internet of Things programme is an initiative to help mobile operators add value and accelerate the delivery of new connected devices and services in the IoT. This is to...

Read more | See all Resources

Case Study: Leveraging the SIM to Secure IoT Services Mobile network operators use SIM Cards (UICC cards as defined by 3GPP/ETSI) to authenticate devices accessing their networks and services. SIM cards can also support additional s...

Read more | See all Resources

Opportunities in the IoT: Evolving roles for mobile operators This report, co-authored by International Data Corporation (IDC), outlines the opportunity for operators, the routes to market, the essential technology enablers required and exa...

Read more | See all Resources

GSMA IoT On-Demand Webinar: Industry 4.0 – Optimising Industrial IoT A total of 70 Mobile IoT networks, including LTE-M (Long Term Evolution for Machines) and NB-IoT (NarrowBand IoT), have been launched, enabling a fraction of the 25.2 billion IoT...

Read more | See all Industry News

Mobile IoT Doubled in Range – Without the Need for Hardware Upgrades Barbara Pareglio, Technical Director, Internet of Things Programme, GSMA Mobile IoT has turned a corner: one that makes connection of even the remotest areas, such as those in ru...

Read more | See all Industry News

Collaboration and Innovation to pave the way for AI in the IoT: an Intervi Sierra Wireless is one of the leading technology providers in the industry and an important enabler for the IoT. In the wake of Mobile World Congress Americas, we interviewed Dan...

Read more | See all Industry News

Intelligent Connectivity Top of the Agenda in Bangkok as Asia Pacific Leads Asia Pacific is now the world’s foremost growth region for IoT, representing 40% of the world’s total spend in 2018: mass installation of sensors, cameras and other connected...

Read more | See all Industry News

Development Guide: NB-IoT for Agriculture The GSMA Internet of Things programme is an initiative to help mobile operators add value and accelerate the delivery of new connected devices and services in the IoT. This is to...

Read more | See all Industry News

Case Study: Leveraging the SIM to Secure IoT Services Mobile network operators use SIM Cards (UICC cards as defined by 3GPP/ETSI) to authenticate devices accessing their networks and services. SIM cards can also support additional s...

Read more | See all Industry News

The Commercial UAV Show November 14, 2018 The Commercial UAV Show is Europe’s largest exhibition and sponsored conference for commercial UAV professionals. Celebrating its 5th year in 2018, the Commercial UAV...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

GSMA IoT at the Huawei Global MBB Forum 2018 November 19, 2018 The 2018 Global MBB Forum will be hosted by Huawei together with its industry partners GSMA and GTI in London from November 19th to November 21st. It will welcome globa...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

IoT Webinar – The Future of IoT Business Models Hosted November 27, 2018 In this webinar, GSMA Intelligence analysts deep dive into IoT applications across two developing areas and evaluate the business proposition of this rapidly evolving t...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

GSMA IoT Webinar Series: What next for mobile operators in t December 12, 2018 With the growth of the Internet of Things, new roles are emerging for mobile operators. Join this webinar to hear senior operator speakers discuss how they are leveragi...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

Mobile IoT at CES19 January 08, 2019 The Internet of Things will be central to CES19. You can discover the range of our activities below, and visit us during the week at our stand: Booth 2210, Westgate. We...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events

Mobile IoT Breakfast Briefing at CES19 – The low power opp January 09, 2019 Join us at this executive breakfast event at CES19 to learn about the growth and opportunity for licensed LPWA solutions, applied to mass market consumer applications. ...

Read more | See all Connected Living Events