Australian Carriers


#1

Hi team! Just curious before I invest in some of these sims - what carriers/telcos are you guys supported by in Australia? I’m worried about not getting any coverage in the country areas where I want to put my IoT devices.
Cheers!


#2

Hey Tak,

In Australia we partner with SingTel Optus, Telstra, and Vodafone.


#3

Just as a hint. Make sure whatever devices you get a 3g/4g/M1 capable.
The last 2G network in AU shuts down 31 March 2018(vodafone)

I bought several dev modules to play around with and because of my own lack of reading realised that they won’t work come the shut down.

Telstra launched their Cat-M1 last month so devices that use Cat-M1 will be the best long-term device.


#4

Great point ShivalWolf! Thank you.


#5

Hi,
we are interested in understanding how the carrier is selected. Our tests show that Vodafone is connected where we are located. But they don;t have good rural coverage and we also want to support rural installations. So a few questions to help us understand that.

  1. If we move out of range of Vodafone then does a different supplier get selected?

  2. And if so do we need to spot this and reregister or is it automatic?

  3. Telstra is listed so I assume in rural areas we would get Telstra as they have the most coverage?

Thanks


#6

@ShivalWolf

Cat M1 and Cat NB-IOT have different capabilities.

Optus and Vodafone are rolling out Cat NB-IOT networks with Cat M1 due out later.

Telstra is doing a dual Cat NB-IOT and Cat M1 rollout

@raykeefe

NB-IOT do not automatically reconnect - that is one of the weaknesses so you specifically have to tell the device to reconnect and find a tower

In terms of who’s towers (Optus, Vodafone or Telstra) will be used depends on what the roaming agreement that Hologram has with Australian Providers.

For 4G if you configure the APN to be hologram most often I am getting Telstra towers (I am not sure if this is a roaming agreement or something else)

Andrei


#7

if you also have a look at the datsheets for the UBLOX modules

R404 - looks like an american specific module so most likely won’t work with australian CAT M1 networks. I am not sure what chipset the global M1/NB-1 will use but that’s the one you should wait out for if you want to test in Australia.

The Sara-N2 would be the series that would most likely work with Australian NB-IOT networks :smiley:

Andrei


#8

@ahaw021 We are starting with CAT-M1 because Telstra have now rolled it out across Australia. It appears Vodafone also have it in our specific area. NB-IoT is going slower. It is hard to tell from the press releases exactly when NB-IoT will be generally available.

Understood about NB-IoT. It has a lot of limitations but this is the trade-off for better penetration and lower module / chipset cost.

We are currently using CAT-M1 so I was interested in understanding if that would switch carriers when it lost a tower. Sounds like it should since it does support automatic reconnect if you leave a cell. Might try this with a GPS enable module and confirm it does happen.


#9

@ahaw021 we are using the SARA-410M-02B which supports Australian carrier frequencies and has both CAT-M1 and NB-IoT on board.

Thanks for the N2 link. The SARA-N201 is the relevant module for us. The plan is to experiment with this for data constrained and fixed location applications such as utility metering. We will be waiting until NB-IoT is broadly available whereas CAT-M1 is fully rolled out by Telstra.


#10

What is the current status with Hologram roaming in Australia on LTE CAT-M1 and NB1?

I have a CAT-M1/NB1 only modem. With a Telstra SIM card, I can register on the Telstra Network.

However with the Hologram SIM, I am unable to see any LTE CAT M1 network. If I insert the SIM card into a 4G phone, it appears to connect to Vodafone AU on 3G HSDPA.


#11

Hey @craigp,

Globally the Cat-M1/NB-IoT roaming scenario isn’t fully standardized yet, so we have very few confirmed networks that we have access to and none are in Australia. We hope to get a better picture of this by Quarter 1 of 2019. Having said that, for the time being several carriers are allowing regular roaming traffic onto their IoT networks so I’d encourage you to give this a shot with a Hologram SIM to see if you are able to connect. If you aren’t able to see any networks it means that there are no carriers with an IoT network in your area, if you get denied when trying to register then it likely means the carrier has not opened up their IoT network to us yet.

Best,
Maiky