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Leading the forefront of education in India

Telstra Business Women Awards

Posted on October 17, 2017

3 min read

Last week we announced the seven finalists of this year’s Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award category. In the coming weeks, we will share inspiring stories of some of these outstanding women from India, Hong Kong, Malaysia, and Singapore. Today, meet Geeta Dharmarajan, Founder and President of Katha from India.

As a passionate writer and storyteller, educationist, reading advocate and community focused leader, Geeta Dharmarajan has combined these traits to create her not-for-profit organisation, Katha, which has been at the forefront of publishing and education in India for three decades. Through the years, Geeta has been bringing together India’s 2,000-year-old storytelling, theatre, dance and music traditions into her StoryPedagogy, a sustainable education model that spans the literacy to literature continuum, seeing translations as a non-divisive tool in nation building.

Family has been a big inspiration for Geeta. Her grandmother, an Indian social activist, and her father, a family doctor, highlighted the importance of empathy and equity, from an early age. Knowing that children living in poverty are not given the opportunity to learn, Geeta started the Katha Lab School in 1990, to give all children the opportunity to bring themselves out of poverty and live a better life. From mainstreaming quality into ageold government systems, to starting bold, innovative reading initiatives that impact thousands of schoolchildren, to cutting edge teacher training, Geeta is making a positive impact on poverty reduction through quality education.

Katha’s education model focuses on learning for meaning. Geeta is fostering in children a reader-leadership to create a kinder, more nurturing world. Katha’s children’s books open the world of Indian culture and diversity amongst people, helping to create a more open and inclusive society. From caring for the earth and nature, and gender issues, Katha’s focus is on equality for everyone.

As the world is rapidly digitising, technology has played an important role in Geeta’s plan to bring 300 million children in India to help bring equity in education. From this, the Katha digital lab – the organisation’s cell that creates ekits, apps, website service and online education resource – was born. Through the power of technology, DigitalKatha removes physical barriers, enabling children across the country to have access to books and learning. Enhancing the use of technology is also key to the organisation’s work with teachers and poor communities, facilitating the training of government school teachers as cloud specialists, enabling them to lead their own learning clusters of teachers.

The impact of Katha and Geeta’s constant ambition to educate children has had significant impact in India. Not only has she empowered children in government schools, in over 1000 poor communities training 350,000 women, but also 17,000 teachers in primary education. Her work has helped over 1.3 million children to date to become upwardly mobile, who otherwise would not have had access to an education. Katha books have reached 8 million children and continues to grow!

Geeta is one of seven finalists for this year’s Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award category. The winner will be announced on Tuesday 21 November in Melbourne.

Click here for more information on the Telstra Business Woman in Asia Award or to nominate brilliant business women for the 2018 Awards.

Telkomtelstra uses in-depth local knowledge in a growing Indonesian market

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on October 11, 2017

3 min read

The Country Managing Director for Telstra Indonesia, Erik Meijer, gave a short presentation at Telstra Vantage 2017 about Telstra’s work in the growing Indonesian market through Telkomtelstra — a joint venture between Telstra and Telkom Indonesia.

Meijer pointed to Indonesia as a huge growth market in the technology industry. It has a population of 262 million people — 10 times that of Australia — and a fast-growing Internet penetration of 55 percent. Technology adoption is on a steep rise, too. Most people skip older, more established technologies, such as fixed-line broadband, in favour of new wireless options. Indonesia now has 370 million active mobile subscriptions, which is how most Indonesians access the Internet, and two-fifths of the population is active on social media.

The Internet has become a central part of life for many Indonesians. Average Internet use per day per user is three hours, and — while there are only eight million credit cards in circulation — over 100 million people, or 41 percent of the population, have bought something online.

This digital savviness of the consumer market makes it increasingly important for businesses in Indonesia to follow suit. Indonesia is maturing into a global economic powerhouse. If the current GDP growth rate of 5 percent every year continues, it will have one of the 10 largest economies in the world in 2020.

Older Indonesian companies are lagging behind consumers in take-up of digital technologies, however, and brick and mortar stores have traditionally seen online as competition rather than an opportunity for growth. This presents international companies with an opportunity to expand into Indonesia, especially if they can connect online and offline worlds.

Meijer said the big growth areas at the moment for business are in financial technology (also known as fintech), e-commerce, software as a service (SaaS), and on-demand/service marketplaces. And the main trend is a move into cloud connectivity, although this is more complicated in Indonesia because of regulatory restrictions on data sovereignty.

Telkomtelstra is currently the only company that offers a hybrid cloud service to businesses that’s in line with these regulations. Telkomtelstra can also manage a company’s data and network security and infrastructure, and it can provide managed unified communications (a complicated thing in a country of 17,000 islands), SaaS customer engagement solutions, and vital insights into the Indonesian market that help forecast risk for expansion into the territory.

In the three years since telkomtelstra began operation, the joint venture has grown to manage about 13,000 business sites for more than 100 customers. Meijer said there are 130 Telkomtelstra employees on the ground in Indonesia to help serve business customers. Besides on-site support, they have a cloud contact centre, a network operations centre that runs around the clock, and a customer portal that displays the status of all network components in real-time.

The real value of all these services, Meijer emphasised, is that they allow businesses to “outsource all your boring stuff” on the technology side so that IT teams can focus on innovation and on driving the business forward.

Faster financial trading for ASX customers

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on September 27, 2017

3 min read

Telstra has announced it has entered into an agreement with the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) to become the connectivity partner for ASX’s international network services, ASX Net Global. The agreement will provide ASX Net Global customers access to Telstra’s EPL Express (Ethernet Private Line Express “EPLX”) solution, which offers some of the fastest network services on the market today for financial trading companies.

EPLX provides financial trading companies with a dedicated point-to-point service, which uses the shortest routes available to connect key financial centres to points-of-presence (PoPs) located in financial exchanges in these centres, thus minimising end-to-end transmission delays.

Brendon Riley, Group Executive, Telstra Enterprise, said the agreement extends the connectivity Telstra currently provides ASX and will directly connect ASX customers with exchange communities in some of the world’s leading financial centres.

“We currently connect ASX to our PoPs in the Chicago and Hong Kong financial exchanges. We will now connect to additional points in these cities, as well as to London and Singapore,” said Mr Riley.

The EPLX service utilises Telstra’s extensive subsea cable network, which for the second consecutive year has been awarded the highest product or service scores for High Capacity Network and Low Latency Network Use Cases in the Gartner Critical Capabilities report for Network Services, Asia Pacific 2017.

“Financial services is an important industry for us and this partnership is testament to our commitment to delivering flexible, innovative solutions that help financial firms reach global markets with speed and reliability,” said Mr Riley. “In a world where a fraction of a millisecond matters, our EPLX service provides fast, point-to-point network connectivity between key data centres and trading hubs that will provide an edge in a competitive market.”

This service is backed by Telstra’s comprehensive low latency service level agreements that help customers mitigate unnecessary risks.

“Being the largest owner and operator of subsea cables in Asia with multiple connectivity options into the US and UK, we can offer more diversity and redundancy to our customers and the ability to quickly identify and address any network issues,” said Mr Riley.

David Raper, ASX’s Executive General Manager Trading Services, said “ASX’s partnership with Telstra will enhance the existing services we provide via our ASX Net Global communications network and enable us to offer new services to customers of our international hubs. We have the functionality and flexibility to cater for a variety of customer connectivity needs, including those seeking the lowest latency or simply wanting more bandwidth.”

More information on EPL Express.

Keep up with the latest in business and tech innovation at Telstra Vantage in our podcast series. Subscribe to the podcast via apple.

Connecting businesses across Africa

Business and Enterprise

Posted on September 14, 2017

2 min read

Africa is a vast continent with increasing connectivity needs – and challenges. Our man on the ground, Justin Lord, shares insight into Telstra’s role in helping businesses connect in the region.

While our growth ambitions in Asia are well-known, few people know we also operate in Africa. For the past 10 years we’ve been helping international businesses looking for connectivity into and out of the continent, in addition to helping African companies with their international technology needs.

How we help businesses connect in Africa

Our expertise and partnerships mean we can advise customers on the most optimal connectivity solutions based on the infrastructure available in various countries. For example, we have a point of presence in Johannesburg that connects land cables with our subsea cables, which in turn provide onwards connectivity to Europe and Asia. We have also increased the number of partnerships we have with local providers, which means we can now provide connectivity to 44 African countries.

To put this into perspective, a customer may come to us looking to expand into Uganda. In this case, we would provide an end to end solution from the customer’s Uganda site, using in-country terrestrial capacity, then use our subsea cable routes to the nearest Telstra point of presence – be that South Africa, Europe, Asia or the Americas. This connectivity solution would enable us to deliver a number of core services into the remote Africa region.

Opportunities ahead

Many of the international customers we work with in Africa are in the Mining, Financial and Media industries and we see further opportunity ahead in these areas. In the mining industry, for example, we provide connectivity for mining companies along the Ivory Coast and we’re working closely with Telstra Mining Services to help more tier one global producers who have operations in Africa and Australia to connect into the region.

There is also huge potential to help local businesses expand into international markets. Companies like Telkom SA, MTN and CMC Networks are constantly looking to expand and we’re working with these African companies to deliver connectivity to our core international markets.

Take a look at our interactive network map for more detail on our coverage into and out of Africa: 

An easier way to keep in touch when travelling

featured How to

Posted on July 31, 2017

3 min read

When it comes to travelling overseas, few nations do it better than Australia. In 2016 alone, 9.9 million of us jetted off to far flung lands in search of sun, sea, sand and adventure.

And while we know how important keeping in touch with friends, family, and even colleagues back home is to our customers, we also know they want peace of mind and control over their mobile data when travelling overseas.

That’s why we’ve updated our International Roaming pass with a simplified Day Pass and will soon introduce a new top-up mechanism for customers who use up their daily data allowance.

Our new International Day Pass is available in 58 countries, including popular holiday destinations like Canada, USA, Indonesia, and Mexico. It costs $10/day (or $5/day in New Zealand) and includes 100MB of data – up from approximately 75MB per day on the previous pass – along with unlimited calls and SMS to standard international numbers.

The new International Day Pass is part of our ongoing effort to make staying in touch easier, while catering to our customers’ growing appetite for data. Customers can opt-in to a Day Pass any time before their trip as they will only be charged for the days they use their mobile and will have more data to use when accessing travel services like maps, translation and social apps.

We are also replacing the current per megabyte excess data charges and introducing a new top up mechanism for customers that use up their daily data allowance. From 20 August, if a customer goes over their International Day Pass included daily data allowance of 100MB, they will receive an Automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up of 500MB for $10.

Data from a 500MB data top-up will be valid for 31 days from the date it was added for use in any of the eligible countries once a customer has exceeded their International Day Pass allowance.

We want our customers to enjoy using data on their smartphones overseas with confidence. Instead of counting megabytes, the automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up will allow them to focus on the things they really love about using their mobile overseas, like sharing photos and social updates with friends and loved ones back home.

With the introduction of the automatic Day Pass Data Top-Up, customers will receive more frequent data use notifications than previously. They will receive text message alerts if they reach 50%, 85% and 100% of their additional data and customers can also easily monitor their data use via Telstra’s self-care tools including My Plan Manager, 24×7 App and My Account.

Telstra post-paid mobile consumer and small business customers travelling overseas can also access free unlimited Wi-Fi at 19 million Fon hotspots worldwide as part of the Telstra Air Wi-Fi network.

Telstra Air includes one million Wi-Fi hotspots across Australia and millions of Fon hotspots overseas, giving our customers access to free data in more places when travelling without having to dip into their International Day Pass data allowance.

Customers can easily enable an International Day Pass online or through the 24×7 app at home, at the airport or at their destination without needing to make a phone call.

For more information about Telstra’s new International Day Pass, visit