Ericsson, Qualcomm and MTN say Cat-M1 is the dog’s

Ericsson and Qualcomm have successfully paired up with MTN South Africa, to complete a lab trial for a Cat-M1 solution focused on MTN’s IoT ambitions.

The trio, claim the trial was a success and the first Cat-M1 test implementation to take place on the continent. The trials will continue in the operators Test Bed lab, as the team look for opportunities to reduce complexity, lower power consumption, expand coverage, and increase device density.

But why you ask? Good question, and luckily enough, the trio have decided to give us some fantastic use cases for the IoT world:

  • Smart watches or fitness bands with integrated voice communications services
  • Vehicle tracking with emergency calling support
  • Point of sale terminals
  • Pet tracking devices

Because, keeping tabs on Fido is a massive fueller for IoT growth didn’t you know.

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

“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. 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.”

Perhaps another question which should be asked it why bother? Smart watches, fitness bands, vehicle tracking and point of sale terminals all work with today’s technology. It is a stepping stone towards the IoT world, and perhaps it does offer some benefit for the South African environment, though it is not immediately obvious what additional support this technology is offering which is a clear improvement on today’s infrastructure.

“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,” said Rafiah Ibrahim, President, Ericsson Middle East and Africa. “This trial ensures MTN South Africa will capture new revenue streams and deliver the best experience to its customers.”

The test itself made use of IoT devices with a Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem and the Ericsson Massive IoT Radio Access Network products.

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