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Tag: innovation

How far we’ve come: celebrating the 25th anniversary of 2G

Network

Posted on April 27, 2018

3 min read

Time flies when you’re having fun. Today is the 25 year anniversary of the Global System for Mobiles network, otherwise known as GSM or 2G.

On 27 April 1993, Telstra was the first telecommunications provider in Australia to launch GSM, which was the second generation of mobile technology after analog. At the time, just making a phone call on the move was a novelty and it took some time to convince the Australian public that digital technology was here to stay.

But 2G made the mobile phone accessible to the mass market and Australians embraced the new ‘digital’ world. With promises of more consistent and clearer voice, increased talk time and greater security from eavesdropping (a big selling point in the media and political landscape of the early 90s), the technology quickly gained popularity.

By 1995, our GSM network had 100,000 customers, in 1996 that had risen to 300,000 and at the beginning of 2003 there were over 5.4 million customers using the network1.

Our mobile network and telecommunications more broadly has come a long way since that launch. Technology evolved and customers moved onto our 3G and 4G services that offer faster speeds and experiences one could only have dreamed about in 1993.

We’re now preparing for the launch of 5G in 2019, which will see even faster speeds, ultra low latency, and connection IoT devices on a mass scale.

We closed our 2G service in December 2016. At that time, 2G accounted for less than 1 per cent of our mobile network traffic. From launch to closure, 2G helped Australians make more than 87 billion phone calls and send billions of text messages over the network.

1993:

  • At launch, 55 per cent of the population had 2G coverage, which included all mainland capitals except for Darwin. At that time 85 per cent of the population had 1G coverage
  • At launch, there were only 635,000 analogue mobile phones in Australia, with less than 4 per cent of people having one
  • By December 1993, there were 660 base stations around Australia
  • 2G could handle 20,000 simultaneous calls and connected 53 million calls a month

Today:

  • Telstra’s 3G and 4G coverage combined reaches 99.4 per cent of the population. It covers 2.5 million square kilometres of the Australian landmass, including hundreds of thousands of square kilometres of regional and rural Australia not served by any other carrier
  • There are more than 17 million mobile devices on Telstra’s mobile network
  • Telstra has more than 9,200 sites across the network around Australia
  • Telstra’s mobile network connects 460 million calls, sends 47 million text messages, and carries more than 45 petabytes of data each month
  • 1. AMTA: Ten years of GSM in Australia

Say hello to the Verti-plane: the future of human mobility

Tech and Innovation IoT

Posted on April 10, 2018

3 min read

We took to the skies in Canberra in partnership with one of our muru-D SYD5 startups, AMSL Aero, to demonstrate its world-leading autonomous aircraft technology.

Imagine a morning commute with no traffic. Take that another step and imagine a morning commute where you can travel all over the city with no delays, producing no emissions, and without you needing to drive. That future may be closer than you might think, and the tech is being built right here in Australia.

Autonomous air flight

A member of our muru-D SYD5 cohort, AMSL Aero was founded in June 2017 by Andrew Moore and Siobhan Lyndon with the mission to change the way the world travels by providing airborne transport that is safe, fast, affordable, easy to use and good for the environment.

They are doing this by building a world-leading Verti-plane, which is an aircraft that takes off and lands vertically like a helicopter but flies fast and efficiently like a plane. The team visited Canberra today to demonstrate a 1/5 scale prototype of their aircraft.

The Verti-plane uses patented technology that tilts the two wings to enable vertical flight for take-off and landing, and horizontal flight for fast (300km/hr) cruising flight. It flies autonomously and is electric, which means it is far safer than helicopters and is also quiet and emissions-free.

The electric VTOL (vertical take-off and landing) aircraft market is forecasted by some to exceed the value of the current USD $27 billion global helicopter market by 2032[1].

AMSL Aero co-founder Andrew Moore started out his career as an aeronautical engineer in the Australian Navy. He has over 20 years of experience in leading the design and build of helicopters and aircraft, and is an avid pilot himself following in the footsteps of his father who was also a naval pilot.

5G and IoT

5G will be essential to support the increase in IoT connected devices over the next decade, bringing greater bandwidth and also greater security and reliability with features designed for communications and control. Telstra will be able to offer the capability to support the command and control of autonomous vehicles so that the low altitude airspace can be more safely managed for aerial people carriers such as the Verti-plane.

Telstra’s muru-D Program

Telstra’s startup accelerator muru-D offers a six-month program for exceptional founders who are solving high impact, global problems. As part of the program, they receive seed capital investment and gain access to a global network of mentors, alumni, investors, and partners. Over 100 companies have graduated from one of muru-D’s five programs, and more than 15 of these having raised $1 million or more in funding so far.

[1] Source: IDTechEx Manned Electric Aircraft 2018-2028

Tags: 5g, innovation, IoT, Muru-D,

I feel like I’ve joined Telstra at the right time to help us transform

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on April 9, 2018

2 min read

I have been at Telstra as a product owner for just over five months, and I feel like I have joined at just the right time.

I’m a Product Owner (Agile) and part of Telstra’s new ways of working, where we nurture and grow scrum teams to deliver amazing digital products progressively.

For this role, I need to balance focusing on the team as well as on our customers. It’s a challenge but I really enjoy it.

The reason I feel like I have joined Telstra at the right time is because my role enables me to be part of our digital transformation, which is a key part of the organisation’s vision of becoming a world-class technology company that empowers people to connect.

I have gone through a similar transformation at a large-scale company, previously in my career. That’s why I know during this journey there will be plenty of opportunities for me to learn and grow my career as a Product Owner.

So what does my average day look like at Telstra? Here are just a few things on my work list:

  • Attend the Agile Scrum ceremonies with my team
  • Ensure that my teams have enough high business value stories from the product backlog to work on, by working with our customers
  • Organise fortnightly demonstrations of the incremental working software to showcase it to all of the relevant stakeholders
  • Lead my teams so that their impediments are addressed on time

Find out the skills you need to be a Product Manager at Telstra.

It’s a pretty busy role but it’s an area I’m really passionate about. Why? Because my dream is for Telstra to become the go-to service provider for all customers in Australia by providing them with a brilliant customer experience. I know it’s something that everyone who works here is focused on.

Lakshmi-speaking-at-the-Women-in-Technology-Australia–Conference
Lakshmi speaking at the Women in Technology Australia – Conference

So what is my best piece of career advice for you?

Be ready to grab any opportunity that comes along because it’s a chance for you to acquire a new skill and implement that in the job you have taken.

It’ll also help you to stay motivated and feel challenged, which will hopefully lead to a greater purpose and sense of satisfaction.

Interested in a career at Telstra? Explore jobs now.

First taste of 5G comes to the Gold Coast this Easter

Network

Posted on March 28, 2018

3 min read

Today, we took another important step forward in our roadmap to deploy the next generation of mobile technology and offer 5G services in 2019.

We are using the connectivity inside our recently opened 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre located at the Telstra Exchange in Southport to power a series of Wi-Fi hotspots in the area. This will be the first precinct of 5G-enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in the world, allowing Gold Coast locals and visitors to enjoy free broadband while we evaluate 5G technology.

Telstra 5G on Wi-Fi, Gold Coast Easter 2018

We’re excited to be taking 5G technology out of a lab into the hands of consumers in time for Easter, with an influx of tourists expected on the Gold Coast in the coming weeks. There are no 5G compatible commercial smartphones or tablets available today. By connecting 5G backhaul and infrastructure in the Southport Exchange to a standard Wi-Fi access point, then people can use the technology on their existing device.

Wi-Fi has limited throughput, so a single hotspot alone cannot come close to reaching the limits of 5G at our Innovation Centre, where we are achieving download speeds of more than 3Gbps. By using multiple hotspots, with potentially hundreds of smartphone users served through a single 5G device, we are able to get closer to 5G in a real world environment.

Telstra 5G Connected Car

We are also using mmWave spectrum and our 5G Gold Coast Innovation Centre to put a connected car on the road with the Intel 5G Automotive Trial Platform, one of the most advanced 5G prototype devices available in the world today. We are still in the early stages of development and are already achieving download speeds approaching 1Gbps inside the car. The vehicle is also equipped with a Wi-Fi access point.

Our 5G Connected Car shows how quickly the technology is evolving. At the start of the year our 5G prototype device was the size of a bar fridge and weighed over 200 kilograms. Now with the help of Ericsson and Intel we have one that has been shrunk down to the size of a personal computer and can be installed in a car.

If you’re in the Gold Coast in the weeks ahead, try out the 5G enabled Wi-Fi – and keep an eye out for our 5G Connected Car!

Accessing 5G enabled Wi-Fi in Southport

We have turned on several 5G Gold Coast enabled Wi-Fi hotspots in Southport. These hotspots are located on Scarborough and Nerang Streets in Southport and will be identified as “Telstra_5G_Free_Wi-Fi”.

People will need to opt-in to connect to the Wi-Fi. Access to the Wi-Fi will be free and open to anyone in the area, and with a download limit of 10 GB per day per device.

Actual speeds on any of the hotspots will be lower than the maximum, limited by the Wi-Fi throughput, and will vary depending on factors such as the type of device being used, distance from the hotspot, and the number of people connected to the hotspot at the one time.

The top 5 certifications for project managers in Australia

Advice

Posted on March 27, 2018

1 min read

Behind every successful project is a highly skilled project manager who probably holds some form of certification. Project management certifications have long been a way for project professionals to demonstrate their level of knowledge, experience, and competency; to lead, plan, budget, schedule, execute and deliver complex projects.

There are a number of options for project management certifications out there and it can be confusing as to which one to pursue. There are no right or wrong certifications, but some carry more significance than others. Below is my pick for the five best choices in Australia.