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Tag: iot

Meet our newest Telstra Locator: more advanced in every way

Tech and Innovation Devices

Posted on November 19, 2019

3 min read

Millions of Australians are already part of our incredible finding network as a way to find anything you’ve lost: from a set of keys to the family dog. Now we’re adding another Locator product to our finding family. One that’s set to find your stuff better than ever before thanks to our LTE-M Mobile Network.

We love how much Aussies have already embraced our existing Locator line-up. Thousands of things have been found thanks to the existing Bluetooth and Wi-Fi Locator tags.

Since launch, however, we’ve been teasing the release of a product that combines the existing Locator Network capabilities with our incredible IoT network to help find stuff in more places than ever before. We’re excited to announce that it’s now available for everyone.

Meet the Locator Cat-M1 Tag

With the sleek and award-winning design Locator has become known for, the new Locator Cat-M1 Tag is designed to push your finding experience further than ever.

Our incredible LTE-M Mobile Network already powers millions of connected devices, with thousands more being added every single day on average. Now that network is being put to work on Locator.

The new Locator Cat-M1 Tag reports the location of tagged items through the combined capabilities of our Bluetooth Locator Community and our world-leading cellular IoT network, improving the ability for Locator to help to track your stuff down. 

Customers can simply attach it to personal items to help keep find them or business owners can use the Cat-M1 Tag to locate assets across different sites to organize where tools or trailers are needed for different jobs to help reduce costs and improve customer experience.

With the Telstra Locator app on your smartphone app, you can see the last-known approximate location and the 30-day history of any item you’ve tagged. You can also be alerted if the Cat-M1 Tag moves outside of a pre-determined “geofence”, meaning that items with a stored and fixed location are safer than ever. Customers can also set up zones and notifications, so that when a Locator Cat-M1Tag is detected by the Telstra Locator network inside or outside of a zone, an in-app notification is sent advising that the Cat-M1 Tag has arrived at, or left that zone.

The Cat-M1 Tag is designed for everything from expensive toolboxes, boats and even pricey hobby items like racing bikes and golf clubs. Owners of caravans and trailers can also keep an eye on their stuff when it’s stored at a remote location.

The Telstra Locator Cat-M1 Tag features Bluetooth, LTE-M and GPS connectivity, an accelerometer, a multi-colour status LED, a 1000mAh rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery with days-long battery life (depending on the level of movement detected when in use) and, with the optional accessories, can be mounted or attached to your valuables with ease. Designed for durability and long battery life, the Cat-M1 Tag is built to weather almost any conditions, with IP67-rated water resistance, dust resistance, and shock tolerance.

The Cat M1 Tag can be purchased outright for $190 and with a $5 per month on top of the current Locator subscription rate. Telstra Locator Wi-Fi and Bluetooth tags are currently offered as a starter kit of two Bluetooth and one Wi-Fi tag for a monthly subscription of $10 per month.

You can purchase the incredible new Cat-M1 Tag now online at T.com.

Tracking every last drop via the Internet of Things

Tech and Innovation

Posted on November 4, 2019

4 min read

We’ve already shared how our Track and Monitor systems are helping big businesses all over the country effectively locate their assets and reduce operational costs. Now we’ve been recognised for our work on the Internet of Things deployment that is vital to our nation’s future by winning three industry awards.

Today in Australia, we’re losing up to 20% of the water from the reservoir to the residential home. Leaks in network pipelines that are geographically challenging to locate and service, along with water theft and customer-side leaks all contribute to the wastage of our nation’s most precious resource.

Every drop of water counts. Sydney, for example, is currently under heavy water restrictions as local dam and catchment levels experience one of the steepest declines of stored water in decades. To tackle this problem we developed our Telstra Digital Water Metering solution to track every drop proactively via intelligent IoT sensing running on our 3.5 million square kilometres of NB-IoT network coverage. Here are some of the ways we are using this technology in real-world applications:

  • Sydney Water sought to monitor the pipe, water and wastewater network to assess overall network health remotely in a trial that detected 22 blockages that would have impacted thousands of properties;
  • Watercorp, meanwhile, used Telstra’s IoT platform to collect granular information about households’ use of water to accurately forecast supply and demand. A five-year study is now underway to determine how Perth uses its water, and already the IoT network is proving useful. Watercorp now has their own sophisticated data analytics to model detailed usage patterns over a two-week period each quarter to determine seasonal variance in water usage; and
  • Busselton Water used the technology to deliver a metering trial within a specific district, focusing on leak detection and pipe pressure management. The trial has already identified water leaks in their supply network and Busselton Water is now proactively managing the optimisation of its own infrastructure, reducing overall water consumption.

Telstra’s IoT platform provides insights to customers via the water management application which includes purpose-built dashboards for monitoring and managing water meter data. The dashboard provides Water Utilities with views of daily or weekly water consumption, aggregated consumption over time, flow and trend analysis, as well as peak and non-peak consumption. Customers can also use our well-defined API’s in our IoT Platform to easily export and integrate data into their own platforms.

The solution collects available sensor data like pressure, consumption, and alerts such as pressure drops from a new generation of digital water meters managed via Telstra’s IoT platform. Telstra’s IoT solution offers off-the-shelf tools for monitoring and managing all this data along with business rules. Dashboards provide users with near real-time full state-of-play at any given time.

Telstra’s Digital Water Metering solution and our implementation success with peak water providers around the country earned us a Sustainability award at the IoT Impact Awards, celebrating our contribution to accelerating the adoption of IoT in Australia in a deployment that is vital to our nation’s future. We’re proud of the team’s work on implementing this great water management product, and we’re not done picking up awards for our IoT solutions, either.

Recently our Track and Monitor product won the Award for best Research and Development or New Implementation at the Global IoT Awards. Track and Monitor is being used in a variety of ways around Australia to help hospitals, transit companies and more keep an eye on their assets to reduce cost and save precious time.

Our work with SCT Logistics, for example, is proof of how Track and Monitor provides improved data insights. SCT Logistics uses Track and Monitor to locate 1500+ non-powered assets (trailers, rail wagons etc) easily, forecast delivery times and analyse data to deliver efficiencies into the business. Infrastructure such as these used to be tracked via an Excel spreadsheet. Now, Track and Monitor provides an interactive visual dashboard that auto-updates for ease-of-use.

And with the environmentally-friendly solar-charging capabilities of our trackers deployed throughout the logistics company’s network, replacing the batteries is a nascent concern.

More than just improving the internal productivity of their tracking systems, SCT Logistics uses the data to keep customers updated on the approximate location of their freight. Customers can now be updated precisely when their container reaches the depot, thanks to the Track and Monitor solution using our world-class networks.

We’re proud to be supporting Australian businesses to make their own infrastructure and businesses more efficient, and we’re thrilled to be honoured by these awards. We’re excited to continue to network the nation with efficient, cost-effective and capable monitoring equipment that work the first time, every time.

Tags: IoT,

How regional teens are embracing technology for change at Telstra Vantage 2019

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on September 16, 2019

4 min read

At Telstra Vantage 2019, we invited high school students from regional Australia to take the stage and present their tech solutions to the real-world problems facing their communities.

Bringing together leaders from the technology industry, ‘Tomorrow’s leaders embracing technology for change’ at Telstra Vantage 2019 was designed to help attendees draw inspiration from young minds.

In collaboration with Telstra Foundation partner Young Change Agents, high school students showcased innovative ideas and helped Telstra Enterprise partners gain a fresh perspective on technology.

Young Change Agents is a design-thinking based social entrepreneurship program for 10 to 18-year-olds that provides students with the tools to think creatively, build skills in critical thinking and communication, and empowers them to become entrepreneurs, leaders and world-changers.

Over three days, the four teams of students completed a design thinking process with Young Change Agents to identify real-world issues facing their community. They ideated potential solutions, developed a business model, and then validated, prototyped and pitched their ideas to our panel of judges – Mike Ebeid, Telstra Enterprise Group Executive, Jackie Coates, Head of Telstra Foundation, Kate Stewart, Telstra Head of Education Partnerships, and Sally Capp, Lord Mayor of Melbourne.

The students pitched some inspiring innovation ideas:

Farm Watch: health tracking data for farm animals

Narromine High School, Narromine (West of Dubbo)

This team’s idea comes from using existing tracking systems (wearable tech bands for livestock) to an app that extracts research from data sets collected from the tracking systems. The data collected can be sold or donated to science or research and help educate schools and the public.

Mike Ebeid said, “This idea certainly speaks to everything that we do here at Telstra. Keeping a track of livestock is really important for farmers and helping to solve that is great because most farmers I know care a lot about their animals. It will also help people to see and appreciate the work of farmers. It’s a really good idea.”

Link Lamp: connecting people through light to relieve loneliness

Keira High School, Wollongong

How might we make people who are lonely feel more connected to others? This team came up with smart connected lamps that are paired so when one person touches their lamp, it sends a signal to the other one resulting in light appearing. This shows that the other person is thinking of them and they are not alone.

Sally Capp said, “This idea pulled at my heartstrings.  I’ve got a son in the United States at the moment and I think if I had this lamp (and I would love one), I would’ve been pushing that button every moment of today so that he knows I’m thinking of him.

There’s no doubt that even though we are more connected than ever, the mental health surveys tell us…that people are suffering from social isolation more than ever before. It’s just little ideas like this that can make such a big difference and a big impact.”

Travel on the Gravel: VR learning experiences for long bus rides to school

Trangie High School, Trangie (West of Dubbo)

Bus companies find that students get up to mischief on long bus rides. Students find bus travel boring and parents want their kids to productively use their time on long bus rides. If local buses have virtual reality headsets, bus trips could educate and entertain youth and allow the students to virtually experience situations they wouldn’t normally be exposed to.

Jackie Coates said, “No one knows the tyranny of distance more than a regional student who travels hours a day to and from school on the same long and winding road. 

I love how this idea uses virtual reality to solve a real problem and the students did some excellent work scoping their business plan and hustling a local bus company to run their prototype.”

Happy Patch Packs: veggie garden packs using sensors connected to an app

Trangie High School, Trangie (West of Dubbo)

How might we help local families grow fresh produce without using too much available water resources? This team wants to create a self-watering/data measuring fresh fruit and vegetable garden growing kit helping people in remote or drought-affected communities to gain access to fresh food.

Kate Stewart, “Hearing from the students how tough it is in regional communities when it comes to accessing fresh veggies and water and the costs for families, I think this idea is fantastic. I love how the team has incorporated a tech solution in what is a very sustainable and clever idea and how you’ve solved a local community challenge.”  

Thanks to the Young Change Agents team and the amazing high school students involved who helped us to deliver a great event at Telstra Vantage 2019.

Helping companies better share, use, and solve problems with their data

Telstra Vantage™

Posted on September 5, 2019

3 min read

By 2020, there will be more than 18 billion connected devices talking to each other and to us, encompassing everything from smartphones to home appliances, humidity sensors used in farms to factory machinery. Nearly 1.7MB of data will be created every second for every human in the world and total digital data is forecasted to exceed 44 zettabytes, about 10 times of that today. 

2020 is next year.

In the past, the world’s data doubled every century. Now it doubles on average every two years. The challenge facing consumers, business, industry and government is with so much data being generated, how do they harness it to drive meaning, innovation and productivity?

Today, 99% of all data generated remains unused. This means less than 1% of all data is used, shared and analysed.

Customers have told us seamless data collaboration is one of the most important ways they want to help drive productivity and innovation. However, there are several barriers to this, including:

  • A reluctance to share data for fear of losing control of it;
  • High costs in sharing data and the initial setup costs;
  • A lack of data standardisation; and
  • Technology challenges of integrating across different systems.

We have given a lot of thought into how we can address this growing global challenge.

The Telstra Data Hub is being collaboratively developed using the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, and allows companies to better use, analyse and solve problems using the data they generate.

The modular, cloud-based platform is designed to reduce the friction and cost of organisations using and sharing data. For the first time ever, companies will be able to securely share, view and exchange data that can deliver real benefits to their productivity.

We are initially focusing on three industries whereby creating the infrastructure and incentives to drive collaboration with data, we can help to solve industry-wide problems and thus create new products.

These three areas include Connected Supply Chain, water management, and agribusiness. By focussing on these three sectors, Telstra Data Hub can lay the foundations to help Australia rapidly digitise its economy. 

We also think these three sectors play an important role in our national economy, has significant opportunities to expand via digitisation and use of data, and has substantial environmental imperatives to optimise use.

In Connected Supply Chain, we are already seeing real benefits in partnering with one of Australia’s largest supermarket brands to improve its ability to track and monitor its shipping containers to improve productivity and visibility of shipments to reduce the cost of missing cargo.

The customer and its partners can now look forward in time to proactively respond to operational issues. They are also able to look back in time, to understand systemic chokepoints, improve efficiencies and make better strategic supply chain decisions.

In the water management sector, we have partnered with an Australian State Government that wanted to improve water quality measurement along its extensive waterways and groundwater bores in the state. In a trial, we prototyped new water quality sensors along a major river connected via Telstra’s NB-IoT network, with data visualised, shared and permissioned across multiple government agencies and related entities through the Telstra Data Hub.

Our heritage is in building national infrastructure that benefits generations. We see more than $100 billion in incremental value to customers and the economy through digitisation and data-driven collaboration.

We are excited to be partnering with Microsoft and unveiling this new innovation today at Telstra Vantage and we look forward to sharing further news as we continue to develop this exciting product.

Tags: 5g, IoT,

Over 3 million new IoT ‘things’ on our network

Telstra Vantage™ IoT

Posted on September 5, 2019

4 min read

Australians are well and truly embracing the Internet of Things, with over 3.2 million devices now connected to our IoT network and an average of 2000 more being added every day.

At Telstra Vantage 2019 this week, we’ve been showcasing how these connected ‘things’ are assisting to increase safety, reduce costs and help to make our customers’ experiences easier and better from start to finish. We took the opportunity to demonstrate our various IoT platforms including Track and Monitor, smart spaces, our IoT Connection Manager, and the Bluetooth finding network that powers our Telstra Locator

There’s a huge opportunity for IoT to transform the way that businesses operate in Australia. More than half of all Australian organisations surveyed are confident that an IoT strategy would generate significant revenue increases for their business*, while over 70 per cent agree that IoT can increase their employees’ productivity and lead to more positive experiences in the workplace*

It’s this strong positivity and endorsement from our enterprise business partners that has helped our IoT business revenue grow by nearly 20 per cent in FY19. We’ve made this possible by investing in and building the largest IoT network in the country, which means Australians can make the most of this new world of connectivity right now. 

We also know that the number of IoT devices being connected each day is growing at a rapid pace. Connected vehicles are an exciting IoT use case in our portfolio right now, but we’re also seeing a huge range of high-tech devices like solar panels, humidity sensors, traffic cones, buses, whitegoods and even garbage trucks being connected to our network – and each one of those contributes data to insights that previously weren’t attainable. 

When businesses use IoT to solve traditional problems in new ways, we’re seeing some incredible success stories emerge. National transport company SCT Logistics used our Track and Monitor product across its rail freight and road transport fleet, dropping its loss rate of 3 per cent on average annually straight down to zero in a three-month trial.  

Not only is SCT Logistics stemming the $4 million cost of losses each year, but it also hopes to get better usage and utilisation rates out of its assets instead of letting them sit idle in customers’ warehouses and shipping yards. After this successful trial, SCT Logistics is now rolling out Track and Monitor across its 1500 non-powered assets like trailers and rail wagons, and integrating that data with its own systems. Despite the scale of this full roll-out, the initial cost is expected to be offset within three years through the efficiencies and constant visibility that our IoT network makes possible.  

By the end of the financial year, we expect to launch more devices in our Track and Monitor range for enterprise-scale use, including new asset tracking units with both LTE-M IoT and Bluetooth connectivity, as well as GPS, Wi-Fi and Bluetooth for geolocation. This new unit will combine the strength of LTE-M for detailed critical tracking needs and the low power benefits of Bluetooth tracking in one device. 

Our Bluetooth finding network community has grown impressively over the last few months, too, with an increase from 7.5 million data points in February of this year to over 25 million in July. Track and Monitor customers, Telstra Locator customers, Telstra payphones, opted-in Telstra 24×7 app users and our nationwide fleet of Telstra technician vans all contribute to the density and quality of our Bluetooth community, and we’ve been pleased to see this grow as more customers join. We also plan to add Bluetooth locators to future Cab Digital taxis, potentially adding thousands of taxis to securely and anonymously help all our Bluetooth finding network users locate their lost valuables. 

We’re well on track to connecting over four million IoT devices by this time next year, and we’re really excited to hear more success stories from our customers as they find new and innovative applications for our nationwide IoT network and the wealth of data and insights that it allows businesses to capture. 

* Forrester’s Business Technographics Global Networks And Telecommunications Survey, 2019

Tags: IoT, Vantage,