South Korean mobile operator KT and Nokia have recently conducted the industry's first enhanced Machine Type Communications (eMTC) field trial. The trial was conducted on KT's LTE network using Nokia's Flexi Multiradio 10 Base Station wherein eMTC utilised only 1.4MHz of the full 20 MHz LTE system, leaving the remaining spectrum free for normal LTE traffic.
eMTC, which is also referred to as LTE-M with 1.4MHz bandwidth, is a feature that will be fully standardised with 3GPP Release 13, the first evolution step of LTE-Advanced to LTE-Advanced Pro. The aim is to reduce the normal bandwidth used for LTE down to a much narrower one to avoid wasting network resources and reducing the cost of using 4G for IoT applications.
eMTC will provide data rates of up to 1Mbps and up to four times better coverage, while reducing device complexity by up to 80%, in comparison to conventional LTE. This allows for cost-effective connectivity of more data-rich sensors, such as environmental monitoring or building surveillance, on existing LTE networks located in rural areas and buildings.
Chang Seok Seo, Senior Vice President and Head of Network Strategy Unit, KT, said: "This trial, a world-first, offers a solid platform to promote the widespread application of services powered by IoT technology by addressing limitations that are hampering its spread and reach. Together with Nokia, we will play a pivotal role in pioneering the emergence of IoT as the first-choice technology in Korea and beyond."
Andrew Cope, Head of Korea, Nokia, said: "This project underlines our position as a driving force behind the creation of a programmable world, where close to 50bn devices will be connected in 2025. With this trial, we have successfully demonstrated the capabilities of LTE as a veritable backbone for a growing range of IoT use cases."