Displaying items by tag: Telstra

Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) submarine cable contract signed

Written on Sunday, 11 February 2018 11:53

The Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) consortium and Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) have signed a turnkey contract for the deployment of the Hong Kong-Americas (HKA) submarine cable network, which will span more than 13,000 kilometers.

This new open cable system will increase connectivity between Hong Kong and the US and will reinforce Hong Kong’s role as a key communications hub in the Asia-Pacific region. The HKA consortium includes China Telecom, China Unicom, Facebook, Tata Communications, and Telstra as the major parties.

The HKA system will feature six fiber pairs and will connect Chung Hom Kok in Hong Kong to Hermosa Beach in California; additional connectivity options may be exercised in future. Its open design will deliver significant cost benefits as well as enhanced bandwidth availability for telecommunications services and content-based services between Asia and North America. Target completion date for the HKA System is in the year 2020. 

Chung Hom Kok Cable Landing Station is located at Chung Hom Kok in the central island of Hong Kong and is the southernmost cable landing station in Hong Kong. Three cables of the C2C Network land at the Chung Hom Kok Cable Landing Station. In addition, the Southeast Asia Japan cable system lands at this station. The station is owned by Pacnet (Telstra) with Pacnet and China telecom Global providing backhaul.

Leveraging its state-of-the-art subsea technology, the ASN solution will deliver greater diversity of connections, enhanced reliability and network efficiency, as well as enabling optimal connectivity between major data centers in Asia and the USA.
The solution includes ASN's submarine WSS ROADM units, the latest generation of repeaters and will offer high performance and powering resilience, enabling over 80Tb/s transmission capacity. In addition, it is also compatible with future generations of submarine line terminal equipped with Probabilistic Shaping technology.

Philippe Piron, President of Alcatel Submarine Netwoks, said: "We are proud to work with the HKA consortium on this project, which incorporates several innovations from ASN and will be based on the latest high-performance submarine line design. The trust placed upon us by the HKA consortium validates our position as a key player for submarine network infrastructures in the Asia-Pacific region and the reinforcement of our local presence.”

Piron added: “It also provides a strong platform to further demonstrate our commitment in project management and in the development of local relationships to support operators and content providers for their network and capacity expansion strategies."

Telstra said it would invest in a half fiber pair on the Hong Kong Americas (HKA) cable. Telstra said it would also purchase capacity equivalent to 6 terabits per second on the Pacific Light Cable Network (PLCN), which like HKA will stretch from Hong Kong to the west coast of the US. Google and Facebook are also backing the PLCN.

The PLCN will have a total capacity of around 120 terabits per second and include 12,800 kilometers of fiber. The cables will offer lower latency than the Asia-America Gateway (AAG), which connects South-East Asia to the west coast of the US via Guam and Hawaii.

“Together with the current AAG cable on which Telstra carries the most traffic today, these two investments will provide us with increased capacity across the important Hong Kong to US route, one of the fastest growing routes in the world for capacity demand,” Telstra’s group managing director of global services and international, David Burns, said in a statement.

Published in Infrastructure

Australia gets NB-IoT network roll-out

Written on Tuesday, 23 January 2018 12:41

Australia’s largest telecom provider Telstra announced a major step forward in the development of the Internet of Things (IoT) in Australia with the successful deployment of Narrowband technology in its IoT Network.

Telstra now offers Narrowband coverage in major Australian cities and many regional towns. This is in addition to the around three million square km of Cat M1 IoT coverage Telstra turned on in 2017. Through the Telstra IoT Network, Telstra is the only carrier in Australia and one of the first carriers in the world to offer both Narrowband and Cat M1 IoT technologies.

Telstra Chief Operations Officer, Robyn Denholm, said Narrowband technology would accelerate IoT in Australia by opening up the opportunity to connect millions of new devices sending small volumes of data at very low power levels over Telstra’s mobile network.

“We already offer our customers Australia’s largest and fastest mobile network and with our IoT Network now we have added the ability to support millions of new devices like sensors, trackers and alarms operating at very low data rates that can sit inside machines and vehicles, reach deep inside buildings and have a battery life of years rather than hours and days,” said Ms Denholm.

“These devices will be the centre-piece of the Internet of Things, which involves enabling everyday objects to send and receive data and will transform the way we all live and work in the years ahead.

“We are already leading the emergence of IoT in Australia – we connect more than two million IoT devices today and offer connected lights, cameras and motion sensors on the Telstra Smart Home platform. We expect the new mobile network capabilities we have deployed will drive rapid growth and over the next five years we forecast we will be connecting four times more devices than we do today.

“This new capability has been delivered as part of our Networks for the Future program, which is a key pillar in the up to $3 billion capital investment Telstra is making over and above business as usual to transform the way we serve customers, digitize our operations, meet the growing demand for data and lay the groundwork for 5G and IoT,” said Ms Denholm.

Telstra has embraced both Cat M1 and Narrowband to give its customers, particularly enterprise customers in industries like transportation and logistics, mining, manufacturing and agriculture, the opportunity to choose which technology best suits their needs.

“Cat M1 is well suited to applications with data in the 100s of kilobits per second with extended range and long battery life, such as a personal health monitor or a device used to measure vehicle performance. Narrowband is better suited to applications sending even smaller amounts of data and operating with an even longer battery life, such as a moisture sensor or livestock tracking device,” Ms Denholm added.

Published in Infrastructure

Ericsson, together with Ciena and Australian telecom provider Telstra, has successfully trialed continuous data encryption while maintaining speed and reliability over 21,940 km across multiple cable systems. The engineering teams demonstrated the ability to encrypt data securely while in transit between Los Angeles and Melbourne at 100Gbps, using Ciena’s ultra-low latency 100 Gigabit wire-speed encryption solution.

With the digitalization of business processes and data consumption rapidly rising, the need to keep data secure without compromising integrity or significantly increasing latency is essential at both the application and network layers.

Organizations with higher security obligations, such as those in the Finance, Healthcare, Defense, and Government sectors, as well as Data Center Operators, will be particularly interested in this new encryption technology. Testing this functionality is an essential step in the path towards commercialization so Telstra can be sure of service quality prior to deployment.

“This demonstration show that customer services with large bandwidth requirements can be secured and data transported across virtually any distance and over an underlying network that uses multiple vendors,” said Darrin Webb, Executive Director of International Operations and Services at Telstra.

“This means we can provide service consistency regardless of the cable system used. Customers will also be able to protect their data not only at the application layer, but also at the network layer without any reduction in quality,” added Webb.

Emilio Romeo, Head of Ericsson Australia and New Zealand, said: “A series of advanced demonstrations such as these are necessary before any product is released commercially. In partnership with Telstra and Ciena, Ericsson provides end-to-end systems integration expertise to deliver the secure solution, with our teams continuing to hit faster encryption milestones.”

In January 2015, Ericsson had success at 200Gbps between Melbourne and Sydney, then with 10Gbps speeds over the greater distance from Melbourne to Los Angeles in January this year. Ericsson has now achieved 100Gbps. “Ericsson will continue to support Telstra’s path toward commercialization of this enhanced security capability,” said Webb.

While encryption solutions exist today to protect data when it is ‘at rest’ (at the start and end points), this trial demonstrates the advanced security that can be delivered while data is ‘in transit’, that is, being transmitted beyond the walls of a data center across extensive networks, without any impact to performance.

Published in Infrastructure

Telstra shares plunge after announcing dividend reduction

Written on Sunday, 27 August 2017 07:14

Telstra, Australia’s largest telecommunications company, saw its shares dive to a five-year low on August 17 after announcing it will reduce its dividend this financial year. The operator reported a 1 percent lift in its full year profits amidst tough competition, but attention quickly centered on the announced cut to its dividend from next year.

The company says the cut to its dividend will help it create a battle fund so it can better fight new competitors in the market. Telstra paid 31 cents a share for the year just ended, but now plans to pay a total dividend of 22 cents a share for the financial year to end next June, after reassessing its dividend policy.

The move saw Telstra’s shares drop in morning trade on August 17. Shares were down 8.3 percent, or 36 cents at $3.95, Herald Sun reported, which is the lowest it’s been since September 2012. Lack of confidence in the firm resulted in $4.4 billion being wiped from its market value.

Telstra now expects to pay around 70 to 90 percent of its earnings in dividends, a historical shift away from its usual practice of paying out almost all of its profits. The new ratio, it says, is “more in line with global peers and local large companies.”

The move was “about setting the business up for success” said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

Published in Finance

The CEO of Australia’s leading telecommunications firm Telstra has warned operators that consumer data prices will soon be a thing of the past. Andrew Penn issued the stark statement when delivering his keynote address at Mobile World Congress Shanghai. (MWCS 2017)

According to Penn operators need to prepare for already declining consumer data prices to reach zero within the next 5-10 years. Telstra’s CEO insisted that it was critical that operators diversified away from being just ‘connectivity providers’ - and that they must focus on providing other services for consumers on top of connectivity.

Penn said: “There is a real possibility that the price for data to the consumer will go to zero in the next 5-10 years. Operators must ensure that they can offer customers wider, consumer-friendly services in order to ensure relevance, sustainability and new revenue streams which will help them avoid falling further down the value chain.”

In addition to this, Penn warned of the dangers of spending too much time focusing on ‘cool technology’ being displayed at MWC Shanghai – and not enough on how innovations would be delivered for the good of the customer. Penn added: “We need to ensure that new products that are designed are intuitive and customer friendly.” Telstra’s CEO highlighted Netflix as a successful example of this.

Telstra have introduced a series of new initiatives specifically designed to improve the user interface of new services after conducting an investigation of its customer service calls. Penn revealed that a staggering 90% of queries which were made to Telstra’s customer help center could’ve been avoided if improvements in technology or customer care had been implemented with new technologies.

Telstra have come under scathing criticism in recent weeks in Australia, following the organization’s decision to axe over 1,500 members of its workforce, citing increased competition as the main factor in its decision to reduce staff.

Published in Telecom Operators

One of Australia’s leading telecommunication companies has announced that it will launch a new IoT lab which has been described as a ‘game changer’ for the country’s IoT ecosystem. Telstra Corporation Limited - is one of Australia’s largest and most successful telecommunications and media organizations.

It formally disclosed details regarding the launch of its IoT lab in Melbourne, after months of speculation surrounding the project. Telstra CTO, Hakan Eriksson outlined his vision for the project, and said that he hopes university students, start-ups and multinational companies can work with some of the best equipment and minds in this industry in order to bring their IoT solution to life.

According to Eriksson the IoT lab in Melbourne will be a public space which will allow anyone with the opportunity to create, test and prototype IoT solutions which shared the goal to improve the overall IoT ecosystem in Australia.

The lab seeks to enable those in the IoT sector to assess how their IoT applications and services will work on Telstra’s network through stringent testing in a controlled environment. In addition to this, the Australian telecommunications company stressed that the new facility was the latest phase in its overall ‘Innovation Lab initiative’ which included both software and hardware for testing.

Telstra’s CTO conceded that from their standpoint, they’re experts from a network perspective, but not in relation to applications in areas such as agriculture, power distribution and logistics. He told The Financial Review, “We’re experts in the network part of it, but not in all the applications that run on top such as agricultural applications, power distribution applications or logistics applications… and they are not experts in networks, so we needed a meeting place.”

Eriksson suggested that innovators will also want to gain access to the lab in order to utilize Telstra’s infrastructure, experts, community engagement, facilitators, and extensive 4G network. He also disclosed that Telstra plan to bring in a 5G test network in 2018, as the organization ramps up its effort to implement the revolutionary technology by 2020. He said: "We will start doing trials in 2018 with 5G, so it will be very natural to bring some of that into the lab.”

Published in Telecom Operators

AARNet, Google, Indosat Ooredoo, Singtel, SubPartners, and Telstra announced they have entered into an agreement with Alcatel Submarine Networks (ASN) to build a new international subsea cable system that will connect Singapore, Indonesia and Australia.

Once completed, the INDIGO cable system (previously known as APX West & Central) will strengthen links between Australia and the fast-growing Southeast Asian markets, providing lower latency and enhanced reliability. Using today’s coherent optical technology, each of the two-fibre pairs will have a minimum capacity of 18 terabits per second, with the option to increase this capacity in the future.

The system will use a two-fibre pair ‘open cable’ design with spectrum sharing technology. Consortium members will have spectrum ownership providing the ability to independently take advantage of technology advancements and future upgrades as required.

The INDIGO cable system will span approximately 9,000km and connect Singapore and Perth, and onwards to Sydney. Within the system, there will be two additional fibre pairs connecting Singapore and Jakarta via a branching unit. The new cable will land in existing facilities in Singapore, Australia, and Indonesia.

“With internet data consumption growing by 70 percent in Asia last year alone, these sorts of investments in international networks are critical for meeting the needs of connected consumers and businesses,” said Telstra’s Group Managing Director of Global Services and International David Burns.

“This will be an important piece of technology infrastructure connecting Southeast Asia and Australia, and follows a number of recent network enhancements Telstra has undertaken to meet growing demand for data and better connectivity from our customers across the Asia Pacific region,” he said.

“This strategic alliance is a great leap forward for Australian Research and Education,” said Chris Hancock, AARNet’s CEO. “It will provide critical infrastructure for meeting the future growth in collaborative research and transnational education between Australia and our Asian partners.”

Alexander Rusli, President Director and CEO Indosat Ooredoo, said: "We are committed to provide robust digital and telecommunications access to Indonesians. INDIGO’s consortium is a strategic and crucial partnership for Indosat Ooredoo that will help provide the digital services needed by Indonesian society.”

“Together, we will enable world-class data connectivity and internet access in line with our vision as Indonesia's leading digital telco,” he added. “High-speed network infrastructure availability, both into and out of Indonesia, is important for business and personal consumers in Indonesia to be able to connect to global content. We are confident this strong partnership with the consortium will deliver a reliable alternative for ever-growing data traffic.”

Ooi Seng Keat, Vice President, Carrier Services, Group Enterprise at Singtel said: “The construction of INDIGO is timely to meet the rising demand for high-speed broadband between Asia and Australia. This cable system complements our global connectivity that links Asia, the US, Europe, Australia and the Middle East. INDIGO will be a new data superhighway that facilitates Singtel and our subsidiary Optus to catalyze the development of digital economies across the regions.”

ASN will construct the cable, which is expected to be completed by mid-2019.

Published in Infrastructure

Australia’s largest telecom company Telstra announced a strategic partnership with US-based VeloCloud Networks, the Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN (software defined wide area networks) company, which simplifies and automates enterprise branch networking. The partnership includes an investment by Telstra Ventures in VeloCloud as part of their latest funding round.

According to Mark Sherman, Managing Director of Telstra Ventures, the investment was consistent with Telstra's overall network strategy, with Software Defined Networking (SDN) and Network Function Virtualization (NFV) increasingly playing a role in offering greater network flexibility and agility for enterprise customers.

"We expect SDN will continue to transform enterprise networking around the world and VeloCloud SD-WAN can help companies achieve more agile and responsive networks as well as reduce costs," said Mr. Sherman.

"We are excited about the opportunity to work with VeloCloud on solutions for our enterprise customers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region where their technology can help businesses manage their networks in dynamic environments across multiple locations. Our first step will be to offer VeloCloud technology to customers in mainland China."

Telstra's joint venture in China, Telstra PBS, is a provider of enterprise services to customers in mainland China and is adding VeloCloud SD-WAN solutions to its product suite.

"VeloCloud is very pleased that Telstra is an investor and partner in our recently concluded funding round," said Sanjay Uppal, CEO and Co-founder of VeloCloud. "We see great opportunities in Asia where more businesses are leveraging both public and private networks and relying on cloud services and applications. We look forward to working closely with Telstra given the strength of their network, customer relationships and experience in the Asia-Pacific region."

VeloCloud Cloud-Delivered SD-WAN enables enterprises to securely support application growth, network agility and simplified branch and end-point implementations while delivering optimized access to cloud services, private data centers and enterprise applications. It enables both enterprises and service providers to benefit from the multi-tenant cloud gateway architecture and supports real-time applications over private, broadband and wireless links.

Ericsson, Qualcomm Technologies and Australia’s Telstra are planning to conduct interoperability testing and an over-the-air field trial based on the expected 5G New Radio (NR) specifications being developed by 3GPP, which will form the basis of the global standards.

The aim is to enable timely commercial network launches based on 3GPP standard compliant 5G NR infrastructure and devices using target 5G spectrum bands. It is expected 3GPP will complete the first release of the official specifications, as part of Release 15.

The trial will highlight new 5G NR technologies that utilize wide bandwidths available at higher frequency bands to increase network capacity and to provide up to multi-gigabit per second data rates. The millimeter Wave (mmWave) and mid-band spectrum technologies being trialed will be critical to meeting the increasing connectivity requirements for emerging consumer mobile broadband experiences, such as Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality and connected cloud services.

"This development is a big step forward in 5G readiness," said Mike Wright, group managing director networks, Telstra. "In addition to the ongoing growth in data consumption, customers are starting to use applications that use more data (e.g. virtual reality) and also require lower latency, for example critical industrial and medical applications such as remote surgery."

"This collaboration between Telstra, Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies will help ensure 5G is ready for the Australian environment, including making sure it is able to be scaled up for our vast distance and sparse population, as well as ensuring our customers will be among the first in the world to enjoy the benefits of 5G."

Ulf Ewaldsson, senior vice president and chief strategy and technology officer, Ericsson, says, "We have a long history of driving mobile innovation together with Qualcomm Technologies and Telstra. This important 5G standard-based trial collaboration will demonstrate compliance to 3GPP and support the accelerated commercialization of the global 3GPP 5G standard in Australia. By working with leading operators and ecosystem players in 5G, together we can enable global scale and drive the industry in one common direction."

The trial will employ 3GPP 5G NR technologies such as Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) antenna technology with adaptive beamforming and beam tracking techniques to deliver robust and sustained mobile broadband communications at the higher frequency bands, including non-line-of-sight (NLOS) environments and device mobility.

It will also make use of scalable OFDM-based waveforms and a new flexible framework design that are expected to be part of the 5G NR specifications. The trials are expected to yield valuable insight into the unique challenges of integrating mmWave technologies into mobile networks and devices.

"We've had longstanding success with Telstra and Ericsson with early 4G and 3G testing and deployments, so we are pleased to be continuing that work to accelerate the path to 5G," said Matt Grob, executive vice president and chief technology officer, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc.

"5G NR trials are essential to ensure a unified global 5G standard through 3GPP, as well as timely commercial deployments of 5G NR networks. Telstra brings a unique environment to test new mobile technologies and our long history of innovation allows us to be in the forefront of the 5G wireless revolution."

The trial will utilize 5G system solutions and devices from Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies to demonstrate real world scenarios across a broad set of use cases and deployment situations.

The 3GPP 5G NR standard-based interoperability testing and trial will start in the second half of 2017, and will follow decisions of Release 15 - the global 5G standard that will make use of both sub-6 GHz and mmWave spectrum bands. Ericsson and Qualcomm Technologies have also announced trial plans in the US and Korea, to support operation in millimeter Wave (mmWave) and mid-band spectrum, accelerating commercial deployments in the 28GHz, 39GHz and sub-6GHz bands.

Published in Telecom Operators

Blow for Australian telecommunications firm as profits slump

Written on Thursday, 16 February 2017 07:30

Australia’s leading telecommunications company Telstra has reported a slump in first half profit - as the combination of increased competition in the market and a shift towards digital have had a significant impact. Its fixed-line and mobile businesses both took a big hit due to the aforementioned factors above, with net profit after tax for the first-half to December 31st also plummeting a sharp 14.4% to AUS$1.79 billion ($US1.38 billion) from the previous period twelve months ago.

The repercussions of this for Telstra has been felt on the stock exchange with the bleak financial report sending shares prices tumbling down to 4.43% AUS$4.96 in mid-table trade in Sydney. Chris Weston, IG Markets chief strategist attempted to dissect Telstra’s failings and stated it as a ‘weak’ result for the Australian colossus.

Weston said, “It’s a weak result, you’ve got revenue and underlying profit all missing (market expectations) by a decent chunk. The implied volatility in a stock like Telstra is so low that this is as big a miss as you are going to get.”

Revenue for services such as fixed-line and mobile fell 4.7% and 8.7% respectively for this period. Overall sales revenue also decreased by 3.4% to AUS$12.79 billion. Telstra also disclosed an interim dividend of 15.5 AUS cents. Despite the poor nature of the financial results reported by the organization, Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn attempted to portray a positive light on reports – declaring the telco had performed well in a highly competitive market.

Penn said, “Data volumes have increased and intense competition on pricing across fixed, bundles, mobile, data and IP has had an impact. Those are in parallel with the acceleration of the rollout of (the National Broadband Network) which, over the longer term, will have a negative impact on EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization) of AUS$2-3 billion."

The NBN, or national broadband network, aims to connect most Australian homes to superfast Internet over the next few years, replacing Telstra's existing copper network.

Published in Telecom Operators
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