Tech and Innovation | Telstra News |

Game on: it’s going to be big year in gaming

By Rick Molinsky January 29, 2016

The digital entertainment landscape has experienced breathtaking growth in the past ten years, and none more so than the gaming industry. You’ll find a gaming device in nine out of 10 Australian households and more than two-thirds of the population now play video games*.

But the fun has only just begun. With exciting new developments in the gaming industry and the NBN becoming available to more Aussies than ever in 2016 – it’s shaping up to be a killer year for local gamers.

Here’s what s we think will impact how we game over the next 12 months.

*Bond University and IGEA “Digital Australia Report”, 2016

Tech and Innovation |

How smart will your home really be

By John Chambers January 14, 2016

Executive Director of Telstra Home and Premium Services, John Chambers shares his top picks from CES for the connected home.

The annual Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas is one of my favourite events of the year, serving as a global platform for innovators and breakthrough technologies.

This year I’m moving into an exciting new role as the Executive Director of Telstra Home and Premium Services which means I have the opportunity to contribute to the future of how Australians live in their homes. From the little things to the life-changing, my focus was almost entirely on Smart Home and Internet of Things at #CES16.

We had a number of great meetings with partners, other global service providers, and Ecosystem players Smartthings to discuss opportunities to develop Telstra’s vision of connecting, protecting and empowering Australians in the home.

Ultimately, these products and services will complement our current suite of Telstra Home innovations such as our market leading T-Voice App which allows users to make and receive high quality voice calls from compatible tablets and smart phones over home Wi-Fi.

The exhibits showing the core components of a Smart Home – sensors, cameras, locks etc – became far more numerous. So I thought I would provide a quick look at some of the fun and new Smart Home innovations that caught my eye during this year’s CES with a big focus on improving health and fitness or making life easier or safer around the home.

Smart Window Washers

My house design contains so much glass that I can’t help but love this. Connect the smart window washers such as the WINBOT from Ecovacs Robotics and they clean your glass surfaces, all controlled from an app on your phone.

smart windows
WINBOT from Ecovacs Robotics

Senior Lifestyle Solutions

There are a number of emerging solutions that pair home sensors with smart analytics – which is life changing stuff. GreenPeak showcased their senior lifestyle solution which features motion sensors and cameras with machine learning to keep family members informed on how their loved one is doing and alert them to any unusual behaviours or movements, wherever they are.

granny

Smart Utensils

A number of companies are trying to solve the problem of simplifying food analysis. For me personally, the one thing I would like to enter into my Fitbit app, but never have the time or patience to do so, is my food intake. Smart utensils like those from Spun are looking to solve that challenge.

utenstils
Spun nutrition tracking utensils

Smart Drink Bottles

Smart drink bottles like the FuelPod from LifeFuels store, dispense and by connecting to an app, suggest and track daily liquid nutrition!

water bottles
Fuel Pod

Security

Netamo Presence is a smart home camera that includes object recognition. For example, if the camera is focused on your front yard, it can alert you when your pet is walking across the lawn, when the mailman has been or if there are suspicious looking people hanging around.

3d cameras
Presence by Netamo

 Virtual Reality

Many are picking 2016 as the year virtual reality will arrive in a form that can be bought and used in the home.  Samsung took it up a level at the show with their stand allowing dozens of people at a time to experience a wild ride together!

samsung vr
Samsung’s VR wild ride at CES16

Home Garages

Meanwhile, home garages are about to get a lot smarter, or at least the cars parked in them will be.

Audi unveiled its A7 driverless car concept and all the major players demonstrated increasingly automated cars.

Perhaps the most hype surrounded Faraday Futures, a Chinese company who are looking to extend their dominance in streaming content from the Le TV brand (they are the Netflix of China) and their cloud infrastructure into leadership in autonomous cars. While it’s known as the FFZERO1 Concept, Faraday say it’s more than a concept car – it’s a car of concepts.

cars
Faraday Futures FFZERO1 Concept

Well I guess if the car is driving itself, you might as well sit back and watch some amazing 4K quality content!

Telstra News |

Symphony: The future of enterprise networking

By David Molony December 9, 2015

Australian technology managers have just about the highest demands and expectations of so-called software defined networking (SDN) of tech managers anywhere in the world, according to research carried out by Ovum.  Luckily for them Telstra is leading pioneering innovation in this area, with its business customers being among the first in the world to get access to the next generation of telecoms services.

I recently saw the first pilot demonstration of what I believe represents the future of enterprise networking: a Telstra initiative dubbed ‘Symphony’ that exploits two of the most significant recent developments in networking: SDN and network functions virtualisation (NFV).

Symphony represents the most complete implementation of SDN/NFV-based enterprise services I’ve come across. It’s a joint project with Cisco announced at Mobile World Congress in March this year.

An additional element of Symphony is the SDN component that is already a commercial service: the Pacnet Enabled Network (PEN), which was acquired by Telstra when it bought Pacnet in April 2015.

PEN, launched commercially in late 2013 is the most advanced and complete realisation of SDN/NFV on the market, well ahead of others. It has already been integrated into the Telstra business and enables enterprise customers, via a web portal, to set up links between regional data centres almost instantly for periods ranging for hours to years, and feeds back to them the prices for their chosen options. The ‘standard’ process for setting up such links is largely manual and can take weeks or months.

PEN is available at 26 points of presence (PoPs) across 14 cities in eight countries offering bandwidths up to 100Gbps. It really gives Telstra a head start in the SDN/NFV stakes, and I believe it will be a real game changer that will put Telstra well ahead of most other telcos in the SDN/NFV space.

In the Symphony demonstration I saw, for the first time, the ability to provision and monitor all the elements of a wide area network, data centre and local enterprise services via a user-dedicated portal.

Ovum’s view is that there are five features essential for a fully functional SDN/NFV for enterprises:

  • secure, high capacity global network infrastructure;
  • cloud services interconnect to support hybrid cloud services;
  • an app store/marketplace;
  • a portal for end users and administration control;
  • a fully managed network environment supporting all the above.

From what I saw Symphony is well on the way to meeting all those requirements. Other service providers must start developing similar offerings if they want to remain competitive, but they need to be conscious of customer’s preferences for such services.

They would be wrong to assume that self-service, flexible capacity management and secure user controls are users’ main requirements. Ovum’s recent survey work suggests they rate new services the top ‘must have’ in an NFV solution.

That could change as SDN/NFV services roll out and users gain experience. Right now Telstra has a strong lead and others will be watching closely, as I will, the evolution of Symphony into a commercial service.

Telstra News |

Hybrid cloud a game-changer for radiology

By Michael Boyce November 24, 2015

Research shows that 1 in 6 hospital admissions in Australia run duplicate radiology tests because health professionals have had no access to previous results. This means greater costs and wasted time because x-rays, MRIs and other radiology studies are often filmed on unique, incompatible systems – meaning files can only be viewed by people with the same system  – and are not shared across locations.

A new solution recently implemented by Telstra Health however is changing the way radiology is delivered by digitising the process and increasing access and convenience for both patients and radiologists.

The vendor neutral image and data management service provides radiologists with the ability to view x-rays, MRIs and other radiology studies, regardless of location or the system used to capture the image. Leading diagnostic imaging provider Capital Radiology signed as our foundation customer in July and we have now deployed the solution to 55 of their clinics.

The hybrid cloud/on-site solution sees radiology studies transmitted to a centralised storage facility through Telstra data connectivity links and then managed using the Mach7 Vendor Neutral Archive (VNA) software, provided by Telstra Health’s third party supplier, 3D Medical. The service will deliver long-term image storage including back-up of all images at a secondary site.

It means more convenient access to images and reports and reduced time taken for a diagnosis to be delivered to patients. For radiologists and radiology firms it leads to more efficient use of skills and resources, allowing images to be automatically routed to the most appropriate radiologist available depending on the type of image or skill set required.

It also means second reviews can be conducted or reports archived without concern as to what system was used to capture the image. This solution particularly lends itself to radiology providers who outsource their reporting services to teleradiology organisations.

When a patient sets an appointment the service can pre-fetch prior studies of that person, making the patient’s history available at the radiologist’s fingertips.

In designing our strategy at Telstra Health we know that the key to building a connected healthcare system is interoperability – having different programs talk to each other and allowing data to be shared across platforms. This solution is a great example of how connecting the health system can deliver real outcomes. Where radiologists previously had to be using the same imaging system, they can now use different systems but share files, regardless of location, software or hardware.

In the future this will mean patients will be able to create a holistic image history, pulling files and images from different providers, in different locations and have one, single source of their radiology history.

And those days of having to awkwardly carry oversized envelopes while working crutches or an arm in a sling may be one step closer to the memory bank as healthcare moves one step closer to the benefits of the digital era.

Discover more on how Telstra Health is making healthcare easier.

Devices | Tech and Innovation |

New ultra-fast devices on the Telstra Mobile Network

By Mike Wright August 14, 2015

Today we are excited to announce the first Category 9 devices soon to be available on the Telstra Mobile Network.

The first devices to launch will be the Samsung Galaxy S6 edge+ and Samsung Galaxy Note 5 – unveiled overnight in the United States. We will also offer the world’s first Cat 9 mobile broadband WiFi device with Netgear in the next couple of months.

While the high speeds achievable on these devices will be welcome news for content lovers, the evolution in our network is really designed to boost network capacity. To give you an analogy, we increase our capacity by adding more lanes to the highway or by speeding up the vehicles; in the case of Cat 9 we are giving the devices a turbo boost so that we can offer a more reliably fast connection for more of our customers.

Pictured: Testing of upcoming Netgear mobile WiFi device on Telstra’s live network.

That means people can enjoy their favourite content with fewer slowdowns even in peak hour or in crowded places like at shops or on the bus.

To many these new smartphones will look beautiful on the outside however to me it is just as important that they will be powerful on the inside. Both Samsung devices will be 4GX (Cat 9) compatible and are capable of the fastest 4G speeds in Australia in selected 4GX areas. They’re primed to support our customers’ ever-expanding love of apps, music streaming and the growth in mobile video.

The battery-powered mobile hotspot from Netgear can operate continuously for up to 11 hours, supports a data usage meter, and can share a 4G connection with up to 10 devices simultaneously making it possible to enjoy the performance benefits of our up-rated network performance on existing Wi-Fi enabled tablets, laptops and smartphones.

This is all possible because back in May 2015, we activated the world’s first mobile network infrastructure bringing together 700MHz, 1800MHz and 2600MHz spectrum. This 4G super-highway on our 4GX service is capable of peak network speeds of up to 450Mbps*.

Since then we have been optimising our network configuration and testing new devices ready for launch. This is a proud milestone for us to be able to confirm the first products compatible with this high-performance LTE-Advanced technology.

The upcoming availability of these three Cat 9 devices is another example of how we’re bringing superior network technologies – first – to customers using our world-class network.

In the years to come as we see the explosion of new video services and the rapid expansion of the internet of things through technology for connected cars, homes and businesses, we’ll need to continue to innovate so our customers’ devices continue to work with the reliability our customers have come to expect.

We look forward to bringing a range of new and exciting next generation devices in the coming months.

* typical user speeds will be lower and depend on factors such as location and network conditions, and, when customers use a WiFi device, the total number of users connected to the device.

To find out more about new Samsung devices as they’re launched on the Telstra Mobile Network register your details here: