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Tag: iot

Growing the entrepreneurial spirit, in Australia and worldwide

Tech and Innovation

Posted on March 28, 2019

3 min read

I’m sure I won’t have a hard time convincing you of the value of entrepreneurialism. This spirit is what drives people to open a new business, to innovate and invent new technology, and invest in those willing to try.

But while we might agree on the incredibly high value of this spirit, we might disagree on the current state of things in Australia and what, if anything, we should do about it.

One of the measures of the future health of our business environment is the quantity and quality of new businesses started each year. On this front, Australia is performing well. When it comes to the rate of technology innovation, though, Australia is not performing nearly as well as it could. According to the 2018 Global Innovation Index, we rank 20th in the world – not a bad result, but we are not as successful as we could be.

What is really interesting is that this report shows we rank 11th in the world when looking at the inputs for innovation – such as the average number of years young people receive formal education, easy access to credit, and a high level of government services being available online – but we rank 31st when looking at outputs like the value of our patents, creation of new goods and services, and our foreign investment outflow.

Clearly something is not working the way it should.

Where were you when the dot-com bubble burst?

It’s almost 20 years since that rise and fall of many companies and the entrepreneurs behind them. While a very small number of people who invested heavily in tech stocks managed to get through that period with their finances intact, the most common outcome was lots of money burned.

Twenty years later the NASDAQ has climbed to all-time highs and is now at over 7,500. Sure the bubble burst, but many technology firms in the US have grown and many new ones have been established. In fact, many of the most successful entrepreneurs of our time were made better by the experience.

For example, Jeff Bezos opened an online bookstore in 1994. It was a disruptive move to take on a saturated market. His often-repeated mantra about being obsessed with providing the best possible customer experience, irrespective of what Amazon was selling and where it was selling it, enabled him to ride out the dot-com bust and build a company that, in 2018, had more than US$232 billion in revenue.

In Australia, the dot com boom gave rise to some serious success stories. REA Group listed on the ASX in December 1999 at $1.11 per share. Today you’d be paying close to $80 per share. Carsales.com was founded in 1997. It listed on the ASX twelve years later and today has a market cap of over $3 billion. And other businesses like Wotif, Lastminute.com, Seek and others have achieved sustainable long-term growth. However, their success has had nowhere near the impact on the Australian economy as technology companies have had in the US.

Tags: 5g, innovation, IoT,

We’re bringing coverage to more communities in regional Australia

Regional Network

Posted on March 18, 2019

3 min read

Under Round Four of the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re building 131 new mobile base stations and small cells to remove black spots and improve coverage for customers living in regional and remote areas.

In Round Four of the Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re contributing $23.3 million of the $55.6 million co-investment required for the new sites, alongside $18 million from the Commonwealth and $14.3 million from the Queensland, SA, Victorian and WA State Governments.

In this round of the Mobile Black Spot Program we will deliver 49 sites to New South Wales, 18 to Queensland, 19 to South Australia, 22 to Victoria and 23 to Western Australia. Many of these locations also address coverage at nearby public interest areas, like tourist attractions and health and emergency services facilities.

After the fourth round of the Mobile Black Spot Program is completed, we will have invested over $280 million and built over 780 new sites to improve coverage for regional areas around the country – a significant proportion of the total 1047 towers co-funded by Government under the Program since 2015.

We’ve already delivered more than 550 new mobile base stations across Australia under the Mobile Black Spot Program, bringing new and improved coverage to regional and remote areas and opening up new opportunities and economic benefits for communities and customers.

After our trial of small cells in Tasmania, we’ll continue to use small cell technology as an innovative and cost-effective approach to fixing black spots. A small cell is essentially a miniature version of a standard mobile base station, allowing us to deliver 4G coverage to areas where existing coverage is minimal or not available without the hundreds of thousands of dollars of infrastructure that a standard mobile base station typically requires.

Improving mobile coverage means people and businesses in regional and remote communities can do many things on the go that those in the cities take for granted – sharing on social media, streaming music and video, working remotely, or simply staying in touch with friends and family regularly. In the past, our Mobile Black Spot Program work has brought mobile coverage to the Pub With No Beer, connected Eggs and Bacon Bay to the world, and helped avocado farmers in Comboyne to monitor crops using IoT.

Over the five years to June 2019, our investment in our mobile network will total around $8 billion, of which around $3 billion will have been invested in regional areas. Our mobile network is supported by more than 9900 mobile base stations, covers more than 2.5 million square kilometres of the country, and reaches 99.5 per cent of the Australian population.

As well as our continued investment in our mobile network and the ongoing roll-out of new and improved coverage under the Mobile Black Spot Program, we’re investing in 5G with more than 200 5G-enabled sites already up and running, and more to come in 2019.

The Telstra Innovation Challenge is back

Telstra News

Posted on March 14, 2019

2 min read

The Telstra Innovation Challenge is back, this time to bring new, innovative IoT ideas to the Transport and Logistics industry.

Each year, we run the Telstra Innovation Challenge (TIC) to bring out the innovative, inventive and technical potential of the members of the Australian public and universities. This year, we are focusing this collective talent towards Internet of Things (IoT) for the transport and logistics industry.

Participating teams will be given the opportunity to express their creative talent and technical skills by designing and prototyping a real world application utilising Telstra’s CAT-M1 and Narrowband-IoT networks. These IoT networks cover over three million square kilometres of Australia and cater for use cases where devices only need to be sending relatively small amounts of data relatively infrequently.

Together with Linfox as our industry partner, we’re challenging teams to solve some of the most interesting issues facing the transport and logistics industry. Teams can choose what specific areas they focus on, which could range from improving the field staff and operational experience, to developing brand new services for the industry.

Teams participating in the challenge will be provided with a development board, the easy to use Arduino Mkr NB 1500. Compatible with Microsoft Azure and Telstra’s Narrowband IoT Network, this device provides participants with a fantastic platform to prototype and develop new IoT solutions for the industry that keeps Australia moving.

The TIC has two streams of participants: one for university teams and one for the general public. Registrations are now open but will close soon – head over to the Telstra Innovation Challenge website for more details.

The finalists for both streams will pitch their ideas in front of a panel of judges on 1 June 2019 at Telstra Labs in Melbourne and be in the running for a range of great prizes.

We look forward to seeing all of your fantastic submissions.

Climbing the transformation mountain

Business and Enterprise

Posted on March 14, 2019

2 min read

Two years have passed since someone suggested to me to work with them on transforming Telstra’s B2B business. In those two years, we have been on an amazing journey of understanding what it means to perform a heart and lung transplant on a patient running a marathon while also leading the pack.

In two years, we have not only established a set of end-to-end integrated systems, from product definition to customer billing, we have also launched what is one of Telstra’s most holistic offers to market as a true paperless proposition –it has been awesome to see the positive impacts to our customers and partners.

To many of the team, delivering all of these aspects in our transformation program has felt like we have climbed a mountain. That said, we have a long way still to go to realise the scale of change that will ensure a sustainable change for the business.

There have been many examples of change that our transformation program is bringing, including the automatic flow of information between systems without any human intervention. This might seem obvious, but any business or IT person involved in managing system handoffs will appreciate that it’s these integrations that are the hardest. Hearing from one of the team how data is now populating automatically between systems without any need to request it is music to my ears.

Tags: 4g, IoT,

Unlocking the potential of Australia’s low-altitude airspace

Tech and Innovation 5G

Posted on March 6, 2019

3 min read

We’re partnering with Thales to imagine a safe and secure ecosystem for the management of Australia’s low-altitude airspace.

Our partnership with Thales aims to make it safer for manned aviation vehicles and drones to collaborate and share airspace.

In recent years, drones have become incredibly popular for recreational and commercial use, but the technical capability to monitor and safely coordinate airspace traffic between drones and general aviation has not taken off as quickly.

Australia’s general and commercial aviation industry already has regulation and a robust technology platform to manage the airspace that passenger aircraft fly in. We want to bring that level of safety and security to low-altitude airspace to enable both recreational drone enthusiasts and commercial UAV operators to fly their craft with peace of mind. This type of system could also inform general aviation of the locations and intended flight paths of drones.

We’ve been exploring the potential of our 4G and 5G mobile technology, and our extensive long-range IoT networks, to enable monitoring of all kinds of vehicles in low-altitude airspace. We see a future where a drone operator might be able to simply plan and prepare a flight through an app on their phone and where authorities have the ability to dynamically open and close airspace using temporary flight restrictions if necessary.

The prototype air traffic control platform that we are developing with Thales, called Low Altitude Airspace Management (or LAAM), is capable of integrating both manned and unmanned aerial vehicles and providing automated drone flight approvals, amongst other features. The platform can also provide near-real-time notifications, which is helpful in managing dynamic, high-traffic areas. In situations where a drone pilot needs to change course to make room for a first responder such as a helicopter ambulance, near-real-time notifications enable the instructions to be relayed to the drone efficiently and safely. Our work with Thales will also allow the development of new products, services, and innovations in the UAV industry.

There are extraordinary opportunities for the widespread take-up of unmanned aerial vehicles in Australia. To unlock this potential, we are investigating how we can use our 4G and 5G mobile technology and IoT capabilities to make secure and reliable communication, navigation and monitoring of UAVs possible. Our work with Thales on LAAM, underpinned by continuous investment in and improvement of our networks around the country, proves that it’s possible for manned flights and UAVs to operate together effectively and safely in our skies.

Tags: 5g, Drones, IoT,