In an announcement made at the Mobile World Congress in Barcelona overnight, the two companies said testing of Cat-M1 functionality had already begun in Melbourne and Tasmania.
One of the trial results, to be presented at MWC, would be a "remote demonstration of live telemetry data including leaf wetness, soil moisture, soil temperature, rainfall, solar radiation, wind speed and direction, collected from sensors at Pooley Wines in regional Tasmania", the two companies said in an announcement.
They said Cat-M1 could be used when mobility, voice support and moderate bitrates were needed in hundreds of kbps. Vehicle telematics, asset tracking, consumer and healthcare wearables, and smart electricity metering were some fields that could be handled.
The announcement said as Cat-M1 devices and solutions became commercially available, Telstra would support their operation across its 4G network which covers 98% of Australia.
IoT plans will be launched to create a business solution.
Telstra group managing director, Networks, Mike Wright said: "Telstra’s 4GX network is one of the most advanced and largest 4G networks in the world. Building Cat-M1 services for IoT using the scale and standardisation of the 3GPP roadmap allows the rapid rollout of Cat-M1 through a new network software activation and provides the ideal platform for a proliferation of IoT devices and applications. It is expected that Cat-M1 devices will be available in Australia in 2017 and therefore our network readiness is essential.
“Cat-M1 meets the demands of LPWA (Low Power Wide Area) IoT applications. Advantages include low cost, low power consumption, deep coverage, massive numbers of connections, and high reliability of transmission. Cat-M1 can enhance LTE coverage for underground and in-building areas that challenge existing coverage. Combined with Telstra's existing leading LTE coverage, customers can deploy a range of near real time applications in logistics, utilities, medicine, transport, mining, agriculture, manufacturing and many more."
Emilio Romero, head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, said: "Together with Telstra, we have moved quickly to activate Cat-M1 capability with Ericsson software. As consumers and enterprises are rapidly embracing the opportunities of IoT, we are enabling the LTE network to be ready for the next phase of user demands."
In other announcements, Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm said they would collaborate and drive 5G New Radio commercialisation and network readiness.
A nationwide optical transmission upgrade, providing capacity boost for rapid growth in mobility, broadband, cloud and video services is to be undertaken.
Telstra also said it would be deliver live mobile traffic over a virtualised network function.