Telstra has announced that its national public safety mobile broadband capacity, LANES, will be open for law-enforcement and emergency services to use during summer 2016-17. Telstra's LANES service dedicates specific "lanes" of spectrum for allocated purposes, with emergency services to have guaranteed priority access to a specific part of the mobile network. Two LANES solutions are on offer: Telstra LANES Emergency Priority, an out-of-the-box solution that includes a LANES SIM for use in smart devices, with access to a 24/7 national help desk and an online portal; and Telstra LANES Emergency Tailored, which will involve customer-owned dedicated spectrum augmented or enhanced by access to Telstra's 4G spectrum. The telco has said its solution could save the Australian government AU 4 billion over the next 20 years if it is extended to public safety agencies nationwide. "We're actually enabling a national public safety mobile broadband capability across Australia from December of this year in advance of the festive season and in advance of the summer season, when we traditionally have natural hazards such as fires.
Nokia has revealed that it is working with Telstra on developing opportunities to help build out private LTE networks and offer industrial Internet of Things (IoT) solutions across government and businesses in the utilities, transport, maritime, and logistics industries. Speaking during Telstra Vantage 2018 in Melbourne this week, Nokia Oceania head of Industry and Enterprise Gary Conway told ZDNet that his business is focused on providing mission-critical solutions for enterprise customers, with the networking giant already working with Ausgrid, Energex, and Rio Tinto. Nokia's global strategy for the enterprise segment is based on the three target markets of energy, transport, and public safety. Within energy, Conway said Nokia is targeting power utilities as well as mining, oil, and gas companies; for transport, the company is focused on the airline industry, railways, and metro transport solutions. "We have a third pillar, which is public sector ... within that title, you've got examples of doing business in Defence, federal government, state government, and probably critical for Australia coming up is some of the public safety networks that are being discussed," he explained.
Telstra has moved 100 of its internal teams to Pivotal's agile software development platform since partnering with the enterprise software company two years ago, with the telco saying this accounts for around 25 to 30 percent of its business. Under the partnership, Telstra's teams have been trained in Pivotal Labs to build software using agile methodologies on Pivotal Cloud Foundry, with an end goal of shifting 400 teams encompassing around 4,000 to 5,000 staff members to the cloud software-development platform. Speaking to media in Sydney on Tuesday morning, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said the partnership with Pivotal has both an external and internal focus, as Telstra must reskill its workforce in order to help its customers undertake their own digitisation. "Like any large, traditional corporate, we're going through the same process that the other corporates are in other industries -- which are many of our customers -- and so at the same time we're looking to transform Telstra from a technology perspective, we're also supporting our customers on that journey to buy virtual products and services that we provide," Penn explained. "So we're on a journey of adopting agile methodology within the organisation, but also working with our key corporate customers in conjunction with Pivotal, so within our enterprise sales force we support Pivotal and particularly the Pivotal cloud software-development platform as part of our offerings to our customers."
Telstra is choosing a range of different launch sites for its early 5G network in order to ensure the new mobile network can handle all geographical and population density requirements ahead of 5G smartphone availability next year, CEO Andy Penn has told ZDNet. "There's a few things that go into our site selection," Penn told ZDNet on Wednesday. "We obviously want to make sure that we're covering different parts of the country nationally, and so targeting different topographical, demographical locations -- so we launched one in Toowoomba, which is a good barometer of what we need to do regionally and Toowoomba's quite a digital hub." While Penn wouldn't be drawn on where Telstra will be launching next, he did confirm that the telco's 5G network will be live "nationally" by the end of 2018, with the telco using mid-band spectrum in the 3.5GHz band. The availability of spectrum is also part of its selection criteria, as well as the ability to trial major use cases with its early 5G networks, like smart cities. "Smart cities is a really important use case ... and there's a number of communities and councils around the country that have very significant aspirations to enable their smart cities, and it's not just metro," Penn said.