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Tag: networks

The year ahead for regional investment

Regional Network

Posted on February 8, 2018

3 min read

With hundreds of new base stations, small cells and site upgrades built over the last 6 months or scheduled around the country during the next 6 months, this financial year (FY18) is shaping up as a big year for expanding mobile coverage for regional Australia.

Whenever we meet our customers who live, holiday or work in regional Australia, whether we’re serving them at a regional store or chatting at a community event, the one thing they all share with us is the importance of mobile coverage. Coverage that means they can connect to each other, to businesses, to emergency services.

This isn’t an emerging theme, and we have been building a network that supports the connectivity needs of our regional customers for decades.

Over the previous three financial years alone, Telstra has invested $2.2 billion in its regional mobile network so more Australians can experience a connected world that supports their way of life.

Our mobile network coverage is around one million square kilometres larger than any other provider in Australia – that’s equivalent to the landmass of the United Kingdom and France combined.

And we’re continuing that large-scale investment across the country. To name just a few locations, we are investing $39 million in northern Queensland, $20 million in Gippsland in Victoria and $75 million in central and southern Western Australia this financial year to increase coverage and enhance our mobile network for regional communities.

This includes our contributions to the Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spots Program, where we are delivering more than 500 new 3G/4G mobile base stations in regional Australia. Late last month, we announced we had turned on the 300th site as part of this program.

The 300th blackspot base station site was in Wellington Mill, located in the fruit growing Ferguson River Valley in Western Australia, where the importance of connectivity to farmers to run their businesses more efficiently and sustainably.

From farmers using mobile coverage to connect to agricultural apps that let them remotely monitor the moisture levels of the soil and the health of livestock, to a local leather trading store and museum that can now take credit card payments, business is better when it’s connected.

And we’re now using drones to safely inspect mobile infrastructure shortly after disasters, where previously we had to wait until it was safe to access and climb affected towers to check on our equipment manually.

Since mid-December 2017 we’ve built and connected 20 new base stations under the Mobile Black Spot program, providing new or improved coverage for those living or travelling around the following locations:

Victoria New South Wales Queensland WA NT, SA, Tas
 

· Ancona

· Archerton

· Bethanga

 

· Paterson

· Old Wagga Road Sth

 

· Mena Creek

· Belli Park

· Maleny-Kenilworth Road (Conondale to Kenilworth)

· Goomburra

· The Summit

· Pomona Kin Kin Road

 

· Bally Bally

· Manmanning

· Aldersyde

· Darradup

· Bullfinch

· Pantapin

· Wellington Mill

 

· Loyetea, TAS

· Pata, SA

From Victoria’s Yarra Valley, to NSW’s Riverina, to remote aboriginal settlements in South Australia, thousands of people are now benefiting from our state-of-the-art 4GX mobile data and 3G services for the first time.

The human impact of 5G: meet the smart drones that could save your life

Network

Posted on February 7, 2018

3 min read

As we move closer to launching 5G, take a look at why the next generation of mobile technology will be a critical element powering new innovations to save lives on Australian beaches.

The family trip to the beach is an iconic tradition for many Australians – especially those who are lucky enough to live close (or close enough) to our famous coastlines. Beach safety is imprinted on many of us as children, the importance of respecting the ocean and following the directions of lifeguards.

However, there is always a level of risk when you choose to swim at the beach – and advanced technologies can play an important role in helping us manage this risk, to help keep as many people as safe as possible.

This week, we showed how the Telstra mobile network can be used to operate drones with object recognition capability that seeks to locate a missing person, using a familiar scenario – a missing teenager, swimming out of their depth and having difficulty returning to shore alone.

We are already seeing examples of drones being used by lifeguards to assist in rescue situations; our demonstration took this a significant step further by using AI-equipped drones that use video analytics to recognise people and objects automatically rather than this being done manually by a lifeguard.

Network connectivity is also the foundation for assisting drones to cooperate safely in the same airspace as rescue helicopters – a key advancement and crucial to show the roles drones play within an end-to-end rescue situation.

For this demonstration, 4G was used to create point to point video links from the drones back to the viewing area on the beach. With the advanced capability and scale offered by the incoming 5G technology, it will be possible for surf life saving organisations to execute these kinds of rescues at a much larger scale along the popular coastlines of Australia.

5G life-saving drone

4G makes it possible – and 5G will make it practical.

5G will deliver faster speeds and better experiences to mobile broadband and smartphone customers, but it will also be essential to underpin the expected increase in IoT connected devices over the next decade.

It will bring greater bandwidth, but also greater security and reliability with features designed for communications and control.

In the 5G-enabled future Telstra will be able to provide connectivity between all sorts of emergency and civilian vehicles whether they be on ground, sea or in the air. Our compute and analytics capability will be able to filter irrelevant information to deliver actionable intelligence to the people who manage life-saving incident responses.

We will also be able to provide communications networks to enable command and control of autonomous vehicles so that the low altitude airspace can be more safely managed for drones and the emerging aerial people carriers.

Drones are an important emerging technology, and will have many applications and impacts on our customers’ businesses and personal lives. In the CTO, our drones team are assessing how we can make Telstra’s networks and systems ready to assist and enable our customers to take advantage of this technology.

Read more about Telstra’s 5G leadership here.

Tags: 5g, Drones, networks,

Why my job as a Network Engineer is different every day

Telstra Careers Advice

Posted on February 5, 2018

4 min read

As an implementation engineer within Telstra’s Business Technology Services division, I work on the underlying network infrastructure for some of Australia’s largest companies. These networks form the primary platform on which all other technology services and applications are overlaid within an organisation.

Are you interested in a career at Telstra? Explore jobs now.

In a nutshell, my role involves taking network design drawings and turning these into practical implementation plans for our customers, which are later implemented onsite.

These plans may be for small changes that are needed on a regular basis or large-scale network transformation projects. The goal is to implement these plans in a way that is seamless so an organisation’s employees or customers are not impacted.

I’m also the conduit between Telstra and our customers; keeping their in-house technology teams informed of any changes that are material to the running of their organisation. There’s a common misperception that engineers aren’t people-facing, but one of the most important aspects of my role is interacting with our customers so I can understand their requirements.

Responding to the continuous evolution of networks means my role is incredibly varied. There’s no standard day, which is an aspect of my career that I enjoy the most.

It’s also a reason why I find Telstra’s flexible working culture so useful. Flexibility allows me to adjust my work pattern around customer engagements, as well as around my personal commitments. With All Roles Flex, Telstra is open to discussing flexibility in some form for all positions whenever role or work commitments allow.

I often structure my schedule to make more time for my partner and two kids. This can be as simple as starting mid-morning if I’ve had a late customer engagement the day before, or working from home to avoid a two hour commute to the city. This equates to an additional four hours in each day.

The freedom to adapt my working hours means I don’t need to choose between work and family in order to advance my career. The key to progression at Telstra, my one-up manager says, is diversity of experience and performance – which is about measuring outcomes, not how many hours you’re sitting behind a desk.

And in my role, I’m exposed to diverse experiences all the time. I’m often working with between two-to-three customers a week which means I’m continuously moving in and out of different environments. This allows me to learn quickly through exposure to best practice network architecture across a range of big businesses rather than simply working across just one network configuration.

I also like that the multi-dimensional nature of my role calls for an adaptable skillset. I wear many hats; from engineer, to stakeholder engagement manager and customer service. It’s through these different experiences that I have the opportunity to broaden my skillset.

Another element of my work is the confidentiality it requires. I can’t talk about a day’s work over the dinner table which can sometimes be frustrating if I’ve reached a big milestone, or am working through an implementation challenge. It’s critical for enterprise network architecture to remain proprietary in order to safeguard it.

Even so, I have always been interested in how technology can help businesses to meet their objectives. I find it helpful to remember this when I’m navigating the ins and outs of the role.

After coming to Telstra from a company with a narrower focus, it’s great to have the option to think bigger about the world of technology and, in doing so, broaden my career aspirations too.

See where a technology career at Telstra could take you.

Laying the foundations for 5G

Network

Posted on February 5, 2018

3 min read

Australia took a big step forward on the journey towards 5G today, with the opening of our new 5G Innovation Centre at the Telstra Southport exchange on the Gold Coast.  This centre will be the home for testing the next generation of mobile technologies in Australian conditions to support the early commercial deployment of 5G.

The 5G Innovation Centre is the centrepiece of a $60 million investment that we have made in upgrading infrastructure in and around the Gold Coast, to support growing demand and major events in the area in 2018, as well as to lay the groundwork for 5G.

This centre will help ensure Australia is among the first countries in the world to gain access to 5G, and is a tangible example of our commitment to build networks for the future for our customers.

5G has the potential to transform the way we all live and work. Like previous generations of mobile technology, it will deliver more capacity and even faster mobile data speeds – but on top of that it will support vastly more connected devices at very high levels of reliability and lower latency.

5G will take us from a world of connecting people to each other and the internet to a world of ultra-fast mobile speeds and the Internet of Things on a mass scale.

These enhancements will unleash a host of new opportunities – everything from smart cities and smart homes, to drones and driverless cars, to augmented reality in both entertainment and at work.

Over the past 18 months we have conducted the first 5G live field trial in Australia and the world first 5G trial outdoor data call over 26GHz mmWave radiofrequency spectrum.  From our new dedicated 5G Innovation Centre we will be completing a number of other 5G firsts in 2018 to ensure Australia remains at the forefront of mobile technology.

We look forward to hosting the leading technology companies, start-ups and business customers from around the world that are developing products and services that will take advantage of 5G.

The evolution of mobile technologies

Our mobile network today operates with a combination of the third and fourth generations (‘3G’ and ‘4G’) of wireless technology.

Over the years, each wave of wireless technology has brought with it better capabilities and opened up new use cases:

  • 1G established mobile connectivity for voice
  • 2G increased voice capacity delivering mobile to the masses and offered low levels of data, opening up the opportunity for mobile emails and simple apps
  • 3G optimised mobile data enabling mobile broadband and more sophisticated apps
  • 4G delivered faster and better mobile broadband experiences, especially when it comes to streaming video and video calls.

In many ways, 5G potentially represents an even more transformative technology for industry and business than its predecessors.


Tags: 5g, networks,

Building on our Asia-Pacific network leadership with new investments

Business and Enterprise

Posted on January 22, 2018

3 min read

A vast network of undersea and terrestrial cables carry the data we use to connect to the cloud, stream content, shop, and socialise online. But capacity demand on these cables is increasing at around 30 per cent each year, as cloud computing scales and as we continue to use more and more data. Paul Abfalter, our Director of OTT and Emerging Markets, explains how we are investing to meet this growing demand and growing our network leadership in the Asia-Pacific region.

As cloud computing and the number and variety of digital devices in use worldwide continues to explode, so too does the demand for the international networks needed to keep them connected.

Nowhere is this more apparent than in Asia, which is now home to almost half the world’s internet consumers and where tens of millions of new services are enabled every year.

While Japan has historically been the primary driver of economic growth in the Asia-Pacific (or APAC) region, China is now the second largest economy in the world and is driving the most capacity growth of any country in Asia. As an example, we saw a 25 per cent uplift in traffic across our IP network in a single day during the ‘Double 11’ or ‘Singles Day’ sales promotion in China last November.

In line with this increasing demand, we are investing in two new international subsea cable systems that will connect Hong Kong and the west coast of the United States. These investments will help us to meet the growing demand for capacity to support the growth of China and south-east Asia, and will maintain our position as the owner and operator of the largest network of Asia-Pacific subsea cables.

The first investment will see us partner to build the new Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable, on which we will have a half fibre pair. Additionally, we will invest in capacity on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN) that will also connect Hong Kong and the US. The investment will deliver the equivalent of 6 terabits per second (TBps) of new capacity on our network.

These two cables will provide our customers with greater resiliency, bypassing areas prone to natural disasters. They will also offer two direct, alternative paths to our AAG cable – on which we operate the most capacity and which connects South East Asia to the US west coast via Hong Kong, Guam and Hawaii.

These investments follow the announcement in April last year that we had entered into a consortium to build INDIGO, a new subsea cable system between Australia and South East Asia.

We are one of the leaders in transporting the data that enables millions of consumers and businesses to connect to the internet and with each other around the world. Our subsea network is a key part of our international growth strategy and the services we provide to large and emerging cloud and content companies, global and regional mobile and service providers, as well as multinational corporations requiring connectivity across APAC.

We will continue to invest to maintain our network leadership, and this includes a commitment to investing in additional capacity on the Australia to US route, as well as investing in terrestrial networks in China, Taiwan, Japan and the Philippines to expand on our already unique positions there.

The HKA cable is expected to be completed in 2020 and PLCN in 2019.