Ericsson & Qualcomm Carry out First CAT-M1 Test in Africa

Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have successfully carried out lab trials for a Cat-M1 solution with MTN South Africa to support of MTN’s Internet of Things (IoT) ambitions. This is the first Cat-M1 test implementation of its kind on the African continent and represents the first stage of a wider scope of test activity. The Cat-M1 trial uses IoT devices integrated with a Qualcomm MDM9206 global multimode LTE IoT modem and the Ericsson Massive IoT Radio Access Network product.

The successful test will ensure MTN continues to lead in technological IoT advancements and will prepare MTN for a new wave of solutions that can be implemented in the new future. MTN South Africa will continue trialing devices and applications for Cat-M1 in its Test Bed lab.

Cellular IoT technologies, such as Cat-M1 and their evolution into 5G, set a solid foundation for massive IoT by reducing complexity, lowering power consumption, expanding coverage, and increasing device density. Cat-M1 enables advanced IoT applications by providing hundreds of kilobits per second in throughput, mobility, and VoLTE support. Examples of typical Cat-M1 IoT applications 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.

The trial supports the first wave of IoT use cases requiring extended coverage and battery life, compared to today’s baseline 2G/GSM and LTE. Qualcomm’s 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.