Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot Launch
Telstra News |

Continuing to advance technology to make driving safer

By Jamie Smith August 10, 2020

The Queensland Department of Transport and Main Roads (TMR) has moved to the next stage of its Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot, Australia’s largest connected vehicle trial, calling for volunteers to have their vehicles retrofitted with Cooperative Intelligent Transport Systems (C-ITS) technologies.

As part of our commitment to empowering the development of connected and automated vehicle technologies in Australia, we are supplying TMR with 4G LTE data connectivity for more than 500 vehicles taking part in the trial, and the equipment to operate roadside communications network devices.

We see the enormous potential this project has to unlock considerable social and economic benefits for all of us, which is why we continue to explore advanced technologies and provide industry-leading network innovation across our 4G LTE and 5G mobile networks.

The importance of connected vehicles, whether automated or driven by humans, to help avoid collisions, protect pedestrians and cyclists and smooth traffic flow on congested roads cannot be underestimated. Especially when we know that human error is the cause of more than 95 per cent of road crashes.

In addition to this, Infrastructure Australia estimates that reducing road congestion and improving the effectiveness and efficiency of the road networks has a multi-billion dollar economic benefit, thanks to improved productivity due to less time spent in traffic.

As the nine-month Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot kicks off, we will see around 500 connected vehicles exchanging messages with the road network infrastructure systems, in order to alert the driver to potentially hazardous situations. Data will be collected during the trial and will be analysed to derive insights and learnings into the safety benefits of C-ITS, to better inform future decisions about regulation, standards and technology to enable the successful deployment of connected vehicles on Australian roads.

The Ipswich Pilot is an important element of V2X technology development in Australia, which is a focus area for Telstra.

We are a leader in the V2X technology space, partnering with Lexus Australia in 2019 to undertake the ‘Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria’ (ACV2) trial of Cellular V2X technology for a number of road safety use cases.

Prior to that, in July 2017 we conducted the first Australian trial of Vehicle-to-Pedestrian technology in South Australia using the mobile network, which followed our first Vehicle-to-Infrastructure trial in 2016.

Telstra is also a proud foundation member of the executive steering committee for the Australian and New Zealand Driverless Vehicle Initiative (ADVI), which supports the acceleration of safe driverless vehicles onto Aussie roads.

Safety first

Beyond the brilliance that is zipping through morning traffic, automated vehicles also offer the very real potential to fundamentally change transport and society by improving our road safety.

Although the figures are steadily dropping every decade, there were 6750 hospitalised road casualties as a result of crashes in Queensland in 2018-19, and 228 people were killed on Queensland’s roads in 2018-19. To put that into context, that’s four lives lost every week.

With the announcement of innovative trials like the Ipswich Connected Vehicle Pilot, the future of connected and automated cars – and the promise of safer roads, smarter transport, and smoother rides – grows closer by the day.

Samsung Galaxy Note20 - 20 Ultra
Devices | Tech and Innovation |

Samsung Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G: portable PC power meets 5G speed

By Luke Hopewell August 6, 2020

Samsung is back with the latest addition to its legendary Note range with both the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G and Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G. Both pack a newly-improved S Pen, and PC power you can take anywhere. Best of all, every model in this year’s Note range is powered by our awesome 5G network for the speed you need.

Announced overnight at Samsung’s virtual Unpacked event, the Note20 range is the most stunning Note yet. It takes everything you’ve loved about the Note range and makes it smarter in every way.

At the centre of the Note experience is the powerful S Pen, and this year’s Note20 series soups up the S Pen like never before. It features a smoother writing experience than any Note model previously, and it works like a remote control for your camera, music and more1. Plus you can even translate your handwriting into text and sync it to a compatible computer for maximum usability2.

This year you get more screen space with the 6.9″ Dynamic AMOLED2x Infinity-O display on the Note20 Ultra 5G, and the  6.7″ Super AMOLED Plus Infinity-O display on the Note20 5G. Both push the boundaries for a true, uninterrupted viewing experience.

Sitting underneath the display is a powerful new processor that pledges portable PC power3 that fits in your pocket. And with features like Game Booster Mode and a 120Hz refresh rate on the gorgeous screen, you can be sure your mobile play experience will be turned up to 20!

The Note20 range also manages power more efficiently4, so you get more out of your device throughout the day. And when it eventually does run down, just minutes of charge5 will give you hours of use. The power of a PC with the juice to make it last!

You also get a Pro Grade Camera set-up, complete with a series of zoom, wide and ultra-wide lenses, and on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra, Samsung’s incredible 108-megapixel sensor for crisp images day or night. Plus, the new Pro Grade Camera rig on the Note20 series shoots gorgeous 8k video6, and 4K video up to a wild 120 frames per second. That means smoother images that will look buttery-smooth on the TVs of both now and the future.

Samsung also announced great new wireless earbuds. Read on to see how you can get a pair for yourself.

Powered by Telstra 5G

Our awesome new 5G network now covers around a third of the Australian population, and by June next year, we’re working to grow to it 75%.

This week our CEO Andy Penn said that “no technology will do more to shape the 2020s than 5G”. It takes the digital experience to the next level, and represents a massive leap ahead. We’re already seeing 5G device speeds double that of 4G devices, and it’s only going to get faster and smarter over time. Potentially up to 10x better than 4G for both speed and latency!

This year our entire Note20 range will be packing 5G. It’s what’s next happening right now, and we’re thrilled that we can bring the next-generation mobile experience to our customers.

To illustrate our progress, we’ve updated our Mobile Coverage Maps, so you can see where Telstra’s 5G technology is available7, as well as 3G and 4G. This will help you understand exactly where our network reaches, and where it’s planned to go next with a new view that projects where we’ll be with our coverage in the next three months.

We’ll continue to update these maps and our network projections as we continue to roll out 5G to more cities around the country.

Availability

This great new range of gear is game-changing, and we’re excited to carry them.

We’ll be stocking:

MRO 24-months MRO 36-months
Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G 256GB   $68.70 (min. cost $1649 over 24 months plus chosen plan costs) $45.80 (min. cost $1649 over 36 months plus chosen plan costs)
Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G 256GB  $83.29 (min. cost $1999 over 24 months plus chosen plan costs) $55.52 (min. cost $1999 over 36 months plus chosen plan costs)

The Samsung Note20 5G and Note20 Ultra 5G are available for pre-order online from 7am 6 August 2020 AEST to 11:59pm 20 August 2020 AEST and will go on sale at 9am on 21 August, 2020.

The range will be available on a 24-month or 36-month payment term and as an add-on to our month-to-month plans8.

We’ll also be carrying the newly-announced Samsung Galaxy Tab S7 and S7+ 5G range, as well as Samsung’s new Galaxy Watch 3. Expect to hear more about it shortly.

Exclusive Telstra pricing

For those looking to pre-order the new Note20 5G range, we’ve got some sweet deals and freebies on offer.

Customers who pre-order the Samsung Note20 5G or Note20 Ultra 5G on our Medium or above month-to-month mobile plan will receive a $10 credit on their bill each month for 12 months.8

Telstra+ members who take up the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G or Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G on any of our month-to-month plans are also eligible for a bonus 10,000 points on their account9.

Finally, customers who pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G on Telstra are eligible for a free pair of Samsung’s Galaxy Buds+ (via redemption), normally worth $299. Customers who pre-order the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G are eligible for a free pair of Samsung’s new Galaxy Buds Live (via redemption), normally worth $319.8

Things you need to know

  1. Compared to previous Note models. S Pen remote function is designed to reach up to 10 meters in an open space. Performance subject to circumstances including frequency of usage on a single charge.
  2. Samsung account and internet connection required for note synchronisation. Samsung Notes apps available on compatible Samsung Galaxy tablet models and PCs. Data usage costs may apply. Compatible with tablets running Android 7.0 (Nougat) and higher, and PC running Windows 10.
  3. Compared to the RAM, storage and resolution of Dell Inspiron 14 5000 14″, HP Pavilion EC0102AX 15.6″, Lenovo Duet Chromebook.
  4. Rated (i.e. minimum) battery capacity value is 4370mAh on the Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G and 4170mAh on the Galaxy Note20 5G. Actual battery capacity value may vary. See user manual for instructions on optimum battery life.
  5. Fast charger required for fast charging. Actual charging speed varies by device and depending on usage, charging conditions, and other factors.
  6. To view videos in 8K quality, a compatible 8K device is required(sold separately).
  7. 5G Coverage: Telstra currently offers 5G in select areas and is progressively rolling it out to other areas. In non-5G coverage areas, you’ll automatically switch to our 4GX/4G or 3G. Check coverage at telstra.com/coverage.
  8. Samsung Buds Gift With Purchase: Available to customers who pre-order a participating device (Galaxy Note20, Galaxy Note20 Ultra) on a Telstra month-to-month plan. Customers must redeem their buds at Samsung.com.au/note20-offer/ before 30 September 2020 by providing proof of purchase and the devices’ IMEI number. Limit 5 per customer. The Galaxy Buds+/Live are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be redeemed for cash.
  9. Pre-order offer: available to new and existing customers on our medium and above month-to-month plans. Min cost on the Samsung Galaxy Note20 5G is $3088.8 over 24 mths (inclusive of credit). Min cost on the Samsung Galaxy Note20 Ultra 5G is $3438.96 over 24 mths (inclusive of credit). Plan price may change. Credit (including existing credits) limited to one per service. Offer ends 20 Aug 2020.
  10. TELSTRA PLUS: Must be 18+ with an active service. Excludes business customers. Points are earned on payment of Telstra bill or pre-paid recharge (excl. outright purchases, refunds, credits & late payment fees). Points expire 3 years from earning. Marketing opt-in required (preferences can be changed). Exit program anytime. Samsung Buds+: Gift with purchase offer available when you add a Galaxy Note20 5G to a Telstra month-to-month plan during the pre-order period of 6 August until 20 August 2020. Customers must redeem buds at samsung.com/au/note20-offer/ before 30 September 2020 by providing proof of purchase and the device’s IMEI number. Limit 5 per customer. The Galaxy Buds+/Live are not transferable or exchangeable and cannot be redeemed for cash.

5G | Network | Telstra News |

5G will shape the 2020s – an update on Telstra’s progress

By Andrew Penn August 3, 2020

Telstra 5G now covers around a third of the Australian population and that will grow to 75% by June next year. With such a rapid rollout of a critical new technology underway I wanted to share an update on our 5G progress.

No technology will do more to shape the 2020s than 5G – the fifth generation of mobile communications technology. 5G will revolutionise connectivity in Australia at a time when connected technologies have never been more important. Linking up with friends and family, work, school and accessing services has all had to be done digitally during COVID-19 and our recovery will depend on accelerating the digital economy.

But why is 5G so important to this? Peel away the tech-talk, what difference will it really make? The easiest way to understand 5G is that it is a massive leap forward in speed, data capacity and device density (the number of things you can connect). We are already seeing 5G device speeds around double that of 4G devices and, as 5G evolves and matures, it will get even faster with peak data speeds potentially up to 10 times greater than 4G – higher than anything seen before – and latency (or signal lag) around ten times better than 4G.

5G will take the activities we have all had to suddenly grow used to doing digitally during COVID – telehealth, working and studying from home, eCommerce – to a whole new level. Imagine being able to join meetings or classrooms from home using virtual or augmented reality. Imagine wearable tech that generates health data in live-time so your doctor can spot any medical issues before you even know you have them. Imagine a connected, seamless lag-free experience across multiple devices and settings, from your home to your car to your study or home office. Imagine fleets of autonomous drones able to deliver your groceries, books, supplies, whatever. Imagine being able to watch the sport, a concert, the theatre or a family gathering using virtual or augmented reality that creates a truly immersive experience. 5G use cases are still emerging but the common thread linking them all is that they will completely transform how we live, work and interact.

Network leadership

With 5G critical to Australia’s future prosperity, the good news is Telstra is a global leader in this new technology. Our 5G network already covers around one-third of the population. Today I am pleased to announce that we intend to extend that to 75% of the population by June next year. We made the decision in March to bring forward $500 million of capital expenditure planned for the second half of FY21 into calendar year 2020. This investment means we have been able to accelerate our roll out of 5G, while injecting much-needed investment into the Australian economy at this time.

Telstra’s 5G is already rolling out in 53 cities and regional towns across Australia and more than 10 million Australians now live, work or pass through our 5G network footprint every day.

We are already a long way ahead of our competitors due to our increased investment, technology leadership and because our competitors have historically made the wrong choices on their suppliers of network technology from a security perspective. We intend to extend that lead because Australia needs 5G.

Devices and data leadership

But what about devices? What does all this mean for Australians wondering if they should or could upgrade their smartphone to 5G? Is it worth it?

On devices, while 5G-capable handsets have not long been on the market, more than 210,000 5G services are already connected to the Telstra network. That’s before the launch of a 5G iPhone. According to consumer-initiated tests taken using Speedtest in Australia from April-June 2020, 3G/4G iPhones run faster on average on Telstra’s mobile network than any of our competitors. Just imagine what a 5G iPhone will do. Telstra’s leadership position in 5G means that we are well placed to make these available for our customers as soon as they come into the market.

The other thing customers need to think about is data. How much do you need and how much does it cost? We recently refreshed our mobile plans providing up to 30GB of extra data and including 5G network access on selected plans for customers with a compatible device in 5G areas. After running a free 5G trial over the last 12 months we have also decided to do away with a planned separate fee for 5G.

We will be inviting eligible existing customers to move to the new plans before the end of September, and for those who choose to sign up we will credit them with the difference for the next 12 months. This is in addition to the fact that all of our plans feature no lock-in contracts and no excess data charges, unlike some of our competitors, where there can be up to $1500 of excess data charges tucked quietly behind the upfront charges.

Put simply, we are providing more data for the same price and committing to hold our price for twice as long as our major competitor because right now that’s what customers need.

Also while many of us are stuck at home we know media is important to our customers so in addition to the extra data and, for many, 5G access, our new plans also include access to Foxtel’s streaming service BINGE free for the first three months and up to 12 months for our Telstra Plus Silver and Gold members, as well as an extension of our offer of Kayo sports streaming for $15 per month. We are also boosting the points earning rate for Telstra Plus, our customer rewards program.

What’s next for 5G?

Telstra’s standing as a world leader in 5G has means has meant that many of the key technology companies including Ericsson and Qualcomm have looked to partner with us to test their thinking, their chipsets and their strategies. They are learning, we are learning and Australia is the ultimate beneficiary. I recently completed a virtual technology trip where I spoke to some of our key partners and other leading operators in the world. We are already at second generation chipsets for 5G and third generation chipsets are just around the corner and will be in devices from early next year. That means 5G devices that perform better, batteries that last longer, a faster experience and device prices that will come down.

The other big thing looming for 5G will be in spectrum and involve mmWaves, a short-range, high-frequency network technology that means more speed and more capacity in the network. More capacity means, for example, that the mobile network could be used effectively for home broadband (something also known as fixed wireless). Telstra is already testing mmWave at a number of sites and we already have our first mmWave-compatible device on the market.

Finally, in an era where remote working, studying, even socialising is now a part of everyday life for millions of Australians staying safe and secure online has never been more important. As well as working closely with the Federal Government on its broader cyber security strategy, Telstra has also developed a Cleaner Pipes initiative to protect customers from malware, ransomware and phishing.

Shaping the future

No technology will do more to shape the 2020s than 5G. It will revolutionise connectivity between families and friends, between organisations and corporations, between information and innovation. With so much depending on it we need to get it right. And we are.

Cyber security monitoring operations control room
Network | Tech and Innovation |

How we’re bolstering our digital economy with stronger fixed and mobile connectivity

By Nikos Katinakis July 17, 2020

The past few months of social restrictions have shown just how important connectivity is to keep the nation moving. As we emerge into a brave new world, ensuring fast, resilient and available connectivity is vital for economic momentum. We’re now thinking differently about how and where technology supports Australia’s incredible digital economy.

Lockdown: tackling an unprecedented network event

Security Operations Centre

Connectivity will have an ever-increasing and key nation-building role in the COVID-19 recovery efforts, as we grasp the opportunities the new digital economy will bring.

COVID-19 represents not only an unprecedented public safety event, but an unprecedented network event.

Our fixed and mobile networks, which stretch to more corners of our country and cover more Australians than any other, are massive and complex. On a normal week, we manage the capacity of our networks through various measures to ensure the best connectivity and reliability for our millions of customers. We’ve been doing this for a long time, and we’re proud of how well we do it.

Our team is working hard during the pandemic to ensure our network stays resilient, fast and available for our fixed and mobile customers.

Through COVID-19, voice calls on our national network have increased by as much as 40 percent and the number of mobile network text messages sent has risen by 21 percent.

We normally see a 30 to 40 percent increase in data traffic on our fixed network year-on-year. While we have seen daytime peak traffic on our fixed network increase by as much as 70 percent when compared with pre-COVID traffic, this increase is easily carried.

This increase – mainly in our uplink traffic – can be attributed largely to an increase in video calls used for meetings and schooling. Even still, this represents a small portion of the total traffic on our network.

The industry-wide collaboration between Retail Service Providers, nbn co and various content providers has played a key role in allowing these traffic increases to be absorbed painlessly. Given many people will continue to work and study from home for the foreseeable future, we think it makes sense to extend the 40 percent free allocation of CVCs (the separate volume-based pricing charge) for the locked down geographies for the time being or, as we and others in the industry have called for previously, for nbn co to look at removing the CVC pricing structure altogether.

Changing for the ‘new normal’

COVID-19 has fundamentally changed the way our country works. A seemingly simple task like returning to the office is littered with new concerns that need to be accounted for. From social distancing in lifts to reconfiguring collaborative working spaces, we need to think differently about everything.

Based on this ‘new normal’ and knowing how vital connectivity is to ensuring a growing digital economy, we’re thinking about how we can help.

At the height of the pandemic, we announced that we would bring forward $500 million of capital expenditure planned for the second half of FY21 into calendar year 2020. This investment will increase capacity in our network and accelerate our rollout of 5G.

It will inject much needed investment into our economy at this time by allowing Australians to work, learn and create remotely, while connecting face-to-face at a COVID-safe distance.

Our 5G rollout started in 2018. With technology designed to provide high-speed, low-latency, high-capacity connectivity, we focussed on deploying 5G in densely populated areas like CBDs, airports and train stations.

A global pandemic, however, means that fewer people can be in those locations. We’re now refocussing some of our 5G investments to deploy into areas that need more network capacity as a priority such as suburbs and regional areas.

This also goes beyond our mobile network. We need to reconsider how Australians work remotely via fixed networks to provide the right technology, the right product, and the right price.

Securing the home-enterprise

The work from home regime will become permanent in some way for many of us and we are working to create the right technology conditions for this permanent setting to be successful.

As enterprises keep their employees working from home for a protracted period, we must consider how that traffic is treated on our network from a security and authentication perspective. This must be tackled at both the enterprise and the home front.

In an age where there are more cyber attacks over home Wi-Fi networks than ever, we need to consider ways to make the burgeoning “home-enterprise user” rapidly more secure through new types of security services.

As we continue to answer these security questions, we’re already rolling out smart security solutions to protect everyone. Our Cleaner Pipes initiative works to actively block cyber threats on our network that would compromise the safety of our customers’ personal information, for example.

This not only helps our consumer-grade customers to stay safe, but also works to keep the new “home-enterprise” customer safe as they work to remotely staff virtual facilities like contact centres and helpdesks.

Pushing to the edge

This fundamental shift in how Australians are working and connecting means we need to radically rethink how network applications are consumed. Thankfully, we’ve been thinking about this for a while with our work on edge-computing: an emerging area of how networks and applications will work in the future.

When you use an application (like a CRM or virtual computer), you can often be limited by the time it takes the network to communicate and action commands. By putting these new applications closer to where they are consumed by users, they will become a lot faster and more distributed than they are today for better performance over ultra-low latency networks like our 5G network. COVID-19 has accelerated the interest in such technology.

Distributing the network capabilities increases speed, security and reliability of an application. Distributing the network applications closer to the edge in multiple locations also cuts down the amount of time someone is disrupted in the event of a network outage.

That’s why our investment to bring better, faster and more reliable network experiences to our customers is an important foundation for the wider digital economy as we all work together to come through the COVID-19 situation as strongly as we can.

Based on nbn traffic.

Mobile data phone plan video streaming
Telstra News |

Why we’re changing our mobile plans, and what you’ll get out of it

By Michael Ackland June 30, 2020

We know that you want and are using more mobile data than ever – so we’ve updated our plans and pricing to meet that need as we continue the rollout of Australia’s largest 5G network. As part of our huge reimagining of what Telstra is and does for our customers through our T22 strategy, we’re committed to responding to what you want from us.

Last year, as we moved to plans which had no lock-in contracts and no excess data charges in Australia, we radically changed the way we worked. If you have a mobile plan with Telstra, you now have the freedom to move up and down plans to suit your budget and data use each month, so you only pay for what you want.

One year on from when we introduced our new mobile plans, we’ve seen a fundamental change in the way Australians are living and working through the coronavirus pandemic. To that end, we’re refreshing our mobile plans with up to 30GB of extra data, including 5G network access on selected plans for customers with a compatible device in 5G areas, and helping to ensure those who may be struggling financially have options to suit their needs.

Here’s the bottom line: From July 1, in line with the extra data we’ve added, prices will rise by $5 per month on new Small, Medium and Large mobile plans. Our Small plan gains 10GB of extra data for a total of 40GB per month, while Medium and Large plans both add 20GB for a total of 80GB and 120GB a month respectively. Our Extra Large plan will rise by $15, and include 30GB of extra data for a total of 180GB. We’re including 5G access on Medium and above plans as part of this shift.

The good news for eligible customers is that we’re offering them a credit to offset the price rise for 12 months if they move to our new plans before September 30. Any customer who took up a Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large plan prior to 1 July 2020 is eligible for a credit for 12 months which will offset the price rise if they migrate to an equivalent new plan. The credit on the Small, Medium and Large plans is $5 per month for 12 months, and on the Extra Large Plan, $15 per month for 12 months. We’re contacting eligible customers via email with details of this offer and to encourage them to migrate.

In addition to this offer, which effectively cancels out the impact of the price rise for eligible customers who choose to move, we are also committing to not raising the price of our new Small, Medium, Large or Extra Large plans for 12 months.

Importantly, following the conclusion of our 12-month free 5G trial, we have decided not to charge a separate fee for 5G on our new month to month plans. Customers will be able to continue getting 5G if they are on eligible plans or by switching to our Medium and above plans.

This is ultimately because 5G’s capability to handle more data-intensive uses like streaming means that customers with 5G use more data – so we’ve given our 5G-capable plans even more of it. A small number of customers on existing Small plans who have a 5G handset will be migrated to a Medium plan, which includes 5G access – but those customers will be given an equivalent monthly rebate for 12 months to ensure they’re not unexpectedly paying more.

In addition to the extra data and 5G access, we’re also including access to Foxtel’s new streaming service Binge on us for a minimum of three months for all customers on these new plans, as well as extending our offer of Kayo sports streaming for as little as $15 per month. We’re also boosting the points earning rate for Telstra Plus, our rewards program for customers, and giving all Telstra Plus members an additional three months of Binge. Silver and Gold members get even more – an additional six or nine months (on top of the three months for all customers), for a total of up to 12 months access to Binge on us.

After looking at how we can better support our customers during financial hardship, we’re also adopting a more enduring package of measures for those who need them. These measures include permanently removing late fees for customers on direct debit, adding the option online to immediately suspend services as your needs change or if you need to reduce your spend, and extending the application date for our discounted Connected Family internet offer to September 30 for eligible low-income families. We’re also continuing our $30 Value Offer mobile plan for eligible customers with a healthcare card.

As Australia begins to return to a new normal, and as we all learn to live more safely with the ongoing presence of coronavirus in our communities, we too are adapting our mobile plans to face the future. We’ve seen first-hand the dramatic change in the way Australians are working and living, how we are using our mobile phones and mobile data more than ever, and we believe we’ve got the balance right.