Story image

IoT moves forward in South Africa with first ever Cat-M1 test

12 Sep 17

South Africa’s Internet of Things (IOT) aspirations have taken another step forward after Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies successfully completed a lab trial for a Cat-M1 solution with MTN South Africa.

According to the companies, this is the first Cat-M1 test implementation ever on the African continent, representing just the first stage of a wider scope of test activity.

The trial consists of IoT devices that are integrated with a Qualcomm with a Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem and the Ericsson Massive IoT Radio Access Network product.

“Today, the majority of telco IoT revenue comes from machine-to-machine connectivity, but in the next five years, this will change to revenue from platforms, applications and services,” says Ericsson’s president for the Middle East and Africa, Rafiah Ibrahim.

“This trial ensures MTN South Africa will capture new revenue streams and deliver the best experience to its customers.”

The companies assert the successful test will help MTN in its technological IoT advancements, preparing it for a new wave of solutions that can be implemented in the near future - MTN South Africa will continue trialling devices and applications for Cat-M1 in its Test Bed lab.

Ericsson says cellular IoT technologies like Cat-M1 and their evolution into 5G set a a solid foundation for massive IoT by reducing complexity, lowering power consumption, expanding coverage, and increasing device density.

“This trial supports the first wave of IoT use cases requiring extended coverage and battery life, compared to today’s baseline 2G/GSM and LTE,” says Qualcomm’s vice president of business development in South Africa, James Munn.

“Our MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem, designed to support LTE Cat M1, NB-1 and E-GPRS and global RF bands, brings many enhancements and optimizations to LTE that can help reduce IoT complexity, up to ten years of battery life and low device costs, and support operators such as MTN South Africa.”

Further benefits of Cat-M1 include the enablement of advanced IoT applications by providing hundreds of kilobits per second in throughput, mobility, and VoLTE support – example include smart watches or fitness bands with integrated voice communications services, pet tracking devices, point of sale terminals, vending machines and vehicle tracking with emergency calling support.

CTIO at MTN South Africa, Giovanni Chiarelli says Cat-M1 provides key advantages of low-cost devices, long battery life, extended coverage and supports a wide range of use cases.

“The successful trial, in conjunction with Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies, proves that both companies have the ability to support new IoT services and technologies for MTN,” says Chiarelli.

“The initial use of this technology has been for tracking and reporting use cases that have benefited both consumer and business customers. At MTN we are providing the platform for these and future applications to enhance people’s lives.”

MulteFire announces industrial IoT network specification
The specification aims to deliver robust wireless network capabilities for Industrial IoT and enterprises.
Google Cloud, Palo Alto Networks extend partnership
Google Cloud and Palo Alto Networks have extended their partnership to include more security features and customer support for all major public clouds.
DigiCert conquers Google's distrust of Symantec certs
“This could have been an extremely disruptive event to online commerce," comments DigiCert CEO John Merrill. 
Schneider Electric's bets for the 2019 data centre industry
From IT and telco merging to the renaissance of liquid cooling, here are the company's top predictions for the year ahead.
China to usurp Europe in becoming AI research world leader
A new study has found China is outpacing Europe and the US in terms of AI research output and growth.
Google says ‘circular economy’ needed for data centres
Google's Sustainability Officer believes major changes are critical in data centres to emulate the cyclical life of nature.
52mil users affected by Google+’s second data breach
Google+ APIs will be shut down within the next 90 days, and the consumer platform will be disabled in April 2019 instead of August 2019 as originally planned.
Ramping up security with next-gen firewalls
The classic firewall lacked the ability to distinguish between different kinds of web traffic.