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Agriculture ICT and travelling in Outback Queensland

In October 2020, I went on a two-week tour into Queensland’s Outback, travelling through various landscapes from pastoral and agricultural lands to savanna and the desert. Leaving Brisbane, past Toowoomba you enter the Darling Downs. This is one of the richest agricultural areas in Australia. It was first explored by British Botanist Alan Cunningham in […]

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Vale Brian Perkins

Former AAP Telecommunications executive Brian Perkins has died in Sydney, aged 88. Brian was my mentor in the telecoms industry during the 1990s. I have very fond memories of him, most importantly as a person. He generously shared his understanding of the industry and the many contacts he was able to build up during that […]

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The existential dangers of social media

There has been an enormous amount of discussion on the damage that social media is causing on a global scale. While there is no indication that the companies who started these services had any evil act in mind – quite to the contrary – the social media have opened Pandora’s box. The technology itself is […]

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Smart cities want to co-design change with Telcos

With 5G earmarked as a game-changer for cities, wireless technologies are already widely deployed by Australia’s leading smart cities. However, cities do not want to be locked into proprietary technology solutions, rather seeing themselves as a platform on which many organisations can build infrastructure, applications and services for the benefit of all citizens and all […]

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Is laser going to be the next telecoms frontier?

When I became involved in the telecoms industry back in the late 1970s, we were just seeing fibre optic cables being commercially developed by Corning. Over the following decades, I have been asked many, many times — do we need fibre cables or wireless technologies and what is next? During all that time, my answer […]

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Reversal of broadband fibre policies

It is great to see that the Government is finally backflipping on its denial on fibre optic networks. It has announced a $3.5 billion plan to bring fibre deeper into the neighbourhoods. The overall costs of a full upgrade have been estimated at around $16 billion. What the Government plans to do is to bring […]

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Newcastle: Australia’s leading smart city

Over the last five years, I have seen from close the city of Newcastle moving towards becoming a smart city. Most certainly, the phrase “smart city” is a rather nebulous one, but it basically means utilising new technologies to enable communities to build a city that delivers more and better social and economic outcomes for […]

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5G will not be the panacea for all our communication needs

As I mentioned in a previous article, I chaired three masterclasses on 5G. It is always great to listen to experts who I trust as they provide important input in the knowledge I need to obtain for that higher level of insight I need to put a range of technical and business issues together in […]

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The incredible telehealth transformation

There are many healthcare needs that can only be successfully addressed in face-to-face visits with health practitioners. It is necessary to see a medical practitioner when we need to discuss private health issues in detail, to canvass different health or treatment options and to assess our health. Having said this, there are many other situations […]

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Telstra is going on to take the NBN monopoly

In a reversal of events, Telstra, being the former telecoms monopoly, is trying to take on NBN Co, the monopoly that displaced it. I am sure that many of you still remember the enormous battles that took place in the 1990s and early 2000s between Telstra on one side and the rest of the industry, […]

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Smart Cities moving into 5G

Later this month, I will be sharing three masterclasses organised by the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA) and the Australian Computer Society (ASC) on the potential of using 5G as an infrastructure solution for smart cities. Just to make sure, I am doing this pro bono so no financial gain or otherwise for me. What […]

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Call for an NBN user revolt

Early at the start of the pandemic, the Government allowed NBN Co to make 40 per cent more capacity available without an extra charge for this. This, of course, was widely welcomed by both the industry and the users. The core of the problem, however, is that this capacity is not available in a “normal […]

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The government dug its own NBN hole, how to get out of it?

As with any large-scale project, you need a long-term vision on the investment that you are going to make. Once that vision is agreed upon, solid strategies need to be developed. Next is a careful design to ensure that what you have designed will work in practice. Only then are you going to start with […]

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The digital economy is spreading out more broadly.

The pandemic has shown us that some of the early models in the so-called sharing economy have become more mainstream. The early pioneers were companies such as Uber, Airbnb, eBay and Gumtree. But others have been making a name for themselves in transport, for example, Shebah (all-female drivers) and Camplify (caravan sharing and RCs). Spacer, […]

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Are we building a mediocre NBN for the ‘average user’?

Are we building a mediocre NBN for the average user? Interesting new research conducted by the Bureau of Communications and Arts Research predicts that average Australian data consumption is set to quadruple by 2028, based on figures from 2018. But they also predict that peak bandwidth will grow less rapidly. In their words: ‘Bandwidth requirements […]

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City-as-a-service – new business and investment model

While there are plenty of opportunities for local councils to create cost savings – especially by cutting through their internal silos and using ICT and infrastructure technologies on a sharing basis across the various city systems – the problem remains that before these cost savings can be made, significant ICT investments are needed. The reality […]

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Internet of Things requires a rethink of business models.

There certainly is a lot of interest in machine-to-machine communication (M2M) and the internet of things (IoT). But what we are seeing is only what is happening on the surface. Most of the M2M activities are taking place unnoticed. For example, most newly produced electronic devices are now all M2M enabled. Over 100 million smart […]

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Nano networks set to revolutionise edge computing

I recently followed a “lunch box lecture”, organised by the University of Sydney. In the talk, Professor Zdenka Kuncic explored the very topical issue of artificial intelligence. The world is infatuated with artificial intelligence (AI), and understandably so, given its super-human ability to find patterns in big data as we all notice when using Google, […]

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New push for cheaper energy costs and a much more efficient energy industry.

As the initiator of Smart Energy Australia in 2007, I looked with the experts of this industry association at how we could use technologies to make our energy system more efficient, cheaper, and less polluting. Of course, this included the arrival of renewable energy and technology developments in areas such as microgrids, distributed energy and […]

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Innovative entertainment industry will bounce forwards after Covid

My brother Rob lives in Rimini, Italy and he has his own company Màgina, involved in “tailor-made” events for large organisations throughout Europe. Their activities include team building, product launches, client shows and so on. Of course, with COVID-19 his business totally collapsed overnight. A few clients have indicated that they will review the situation […]

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Hassle over LEOs

The following article is based on a blog written by my Dutch colleague Fred Kappetijn. We have worked together to present this to you. Every second, 4.5 billion people using computers and other electronic devices send 100,000 gigabytes of information to each other. Around 60% of the world’s population has an internet connection. North America […]

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Digital economy essential for regional Australia

Back in the early 1990s, I was a founding board member of Service Providers Action Network (SPAN), which later became part of Communications Alliance. The key aim of this organisation was the promotion of new value-added services that could be provided over the telecommunications network. At this time there was no public internet and we […]

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Smart City Moreton Bay

Moreton Bay Regional Council in South-East Queensland is one of the smart cities that is part of the Global Smart Community and City Alliance (GSC3). In all, some 25 cities formed part of this Alliance, which is no longer active. It is amazing to see the progress that Moreton Bay has made over the last […]

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Building independent Gig Cities: this happens when you have a 2nd rate NBN

Adelaide was one of the first cities to build a gigabit fibre optic network but soon others followed. Newcastle, Wollongong, Launceston and the NSW Central Coast Council are now all developing their own gigabit infrastructure. Now, the NSW Government is putting $100 million dollars aside for the provision of “innovative systems” to improve the price, […]

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Encouraging online lessons from the corona crisis

The players in the telecommunications industry have decisively reacted to the COVID-19 crisis. The NBN is holding up and the company is effectively implementing a range of measures for those who rely on it. Equally, the support from the major telcos and the digital players has been first-class and, where needed, the industry is working […]

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Will the NBN stand up in the Covid-19 pandemic?

In a previous blog I addressed the issue of teleworking and e-health application in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic. I also mentioned the impact that this will have on our telecommunications networks. This time I would like to go a little bit deeper into this. It is a no-brainer to predict that when schools […]

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The end of Foxtel’s pay TV service?

Back in the early 2000s when the apartment complex where we are currently living was built, Telstra installed a coax cable in the complex together with the ordinary copper cable. The Hybrid Fibre Coax (HFC) cable allowed Telstra to offer better broadband services and Foxtel to deliver its proprietary pay-TV service. There is now turmoil […]

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NBN troubles continues

I had an interesting discussion on the NBN with several long-term colleagues. What triggered this discussion – we have had many more of them in the past – was the latest results from the Ookla fixed broadband speed rankings. The downward trend that we have seen now for the last decade continues. Australia is now […]

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The role of FttH in the development of 5G

As the rollout of fibre to the home project (FttH) remains a slow process it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative. Obviously, mobile communication has improved over recent years in providing excellent access to broadband. It has also become more affordable. At the same time, […]

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Broadband driven Smart Energy Developments

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an energy revolution. Not only is the nature of energy changing from fossil-generated energy to renewable – there is a total change in the distribution structure occurring with less focus on centralisation and more on distributed energy. Concerns about issues such as energy security, […]

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The power of data in smart city developments

A few weeks, I attended a one-day conference at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) at the occasion of the launch of their new $7.5 million Centre for Data Science. This laboratory is also the lead node of a new Australian Data Science Network, bringing together data science organisations from across the country. The new […]

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Full fibre NBN back on the agenda

Britain’s Labour Opposition Leader Jeremy Corbyn has promised a national fibre-to-home network for nine million homes in the UK to be completed by 2030 at a cost of £20 billion (AU$38 billion). In the same week, Australia’s Labor Opposition Leader Anthony Albanese made a similar promise regarding updating the current multi-mix technology national broadband network […]

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Power, Hope and Social Change: The Rise of the City?

A recent event addressed the fact that the world’s liberal democracies are faltering. Many of the problems that result from this are acutely felt in cities. And if we look at some of the more dramatic fallouts of the crises, we see that there are the people using their combined “people-power” to try and demand […]

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Smart devices ready to flood the energy market to force prices down.

Over the last decade there have been excellent reports from the Australian Energy Market Commission (AEMC) as well as from various industry bodies on reforming the energy market. The reports state this should be done through opening the market up to modernisation, more competition, better interoperability arrangements and better levels of transparency, all based on […]

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Successful smart cities require significant ICT infrastructure

Telecommunications infrastructure plays an important role in providing the backbone for building the Smart Cities and Smart Homes which are emerging around the world. It is encouraging to see that so many governments and telecoms operators are working hard and investing heavily to deploy this underlying infrastructure which we will need for the future. Fixed-broadband […]

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Australia leads the South East Asian data centre market

Australia has progressed to now be one of the four major sub-markets for data centres in Asia alongside Singapore, Hong Kong and Japan. As data centres become larger and more efficient, new data centres are generally being built in centralised areas, mainly in the larger cities of Sydney and Melbourne, in order to achieve the […]

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Australia’s NBN makes slow progress

While fixed-line telephony traffic and revenue are declining, the mobile broadband market is growing steadily. Fixed-line broadband on the copper network is also declining as fibre and fixed-wireless broadband services become more widely available, through the NBN’s multi-technology architecture, with its emphasis on VDSL with Fibre-to-the Node (FttN). In time, much of the voice traffic […]

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Successful smart cities require significant ICT infrastructure

Telecommunications infrastructure plays an important role in providing the backbone for building the Smart Cities and Smart Homes which are emerging around the world. It is encouraging to see that so many governments and telecoms operators are working hard and investing heavily to deploy this underlying infrastructure which we will need for the future. Fixed-broadband […]

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Monetising solutions for the telcos

Developments in the telecommunications industry and the broader digital economy have opened up many new markets over the last few decades. Telecoms has changed from a more or less standalone, horizontally-organised industry to one that has become a key facilitator in a range of vertical markets. The keyword that is used to indicate that change […]

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The NBN now attacked from all directions

The gloves are off now that Telstra has stopped using diplomatic language to savage the NBN. Its chairman stated that Telstra and its competitors could have built a better NBN at lower costs. It is, however, important to first go back to the original NBN — a fibre to the home network to 96 per […]

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Jumping on the Australian streaming boom

Large scale video streaming arrived rather late in Australia. But when Netflix finally made its entry in Australia – five years after its launch in North America – it had very easy pickings Down Under. By that time, the country had been suffering for over two decades from a de facto Foxtel pay-TV monopoly, with […]

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Message from the coalface – NBN pricing

This is a message I received following my article in which I argue that the NBN pricing is widening the equality gap in relation to access to the NBN and thus also to the digital economy and digital society. When going back to the start of the NBN, now close to 15 years ago, the […]

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Fibre to the farm provides opportunities for rural Australia

Over the last decade, Australia has spent $5.5 billion on satellite and fixed wireless broadband services and another $650 million on mobile blackspots. After last year’s Regional Telecommunications Review, the Government earlier this year indicated another $220 million for mobile blackspots, money for digital inclusions projects and $60 million for a regional connectivity program. It […]

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Changing the goalposts and voila here is the new NBN corporate plan

Since the Coalition Government has taken over the NBN back in 2013, we have seen the goalposts being changed nearly on an annual basis. It started soon after Malcolm Turnbull’s infamous announcement: “we will bring you the NBN for around $25 billion and deliver it in 2016”. The reality, of course, is that now in […]

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Do we need 5G to compete with the NBN

For as long the NBN has been under development we have heard comments that the NBN is not needed as the world will go wireless. In the early days, this was an argument from, among others, Former Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull. However, while he didn’t often repeat this argument of fear, uncertainty and doubt, the […]

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NBN Co’s gain is the retailer’s loss

However, as we have heard now for over a year, this has been at the costs of the margins of the retail service providers. NBN Co’s high wholesale prices have squeezed margins for some of them to close to 10%. Companies such as Telstra were used to margins of 30-40%. Without any wholesale infrastructure competition, […]

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Are the telcos crying wolf?

We recently have heard a lot of complaining from the telecommunications companies in relation to the margin squeeze they experience from NBN Co. While they certainly do have a point, it is also important to look at the other side of the coin. Why have the telcos allowed this situation to happen in the first […]

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Telstra and the expensive NBN: The gloves are off

After nearly a year of diplomatic comments on the need to change the wholesale price of the NBN, it looks like Telstra has had enough. On a media tour, CEO Andy Penn has made it now overly clear that the wholesale pricing structure of the NBN needs to be changed, in particular in the area […]

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Minister Fletcher’s first in-depth comments on the NBN.

Recently the Minister made his first more in-depth public comments on various aspects of the NBN. The fact that the telecommunications industry had a sigh of relief when the new comms minister Paul Fletcher mentioned that the government would not sell the NBN to Telstra is an indication how low trust in politics has sunk […]

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Not Netflix but Government killed the NBN

In a recent ABC interview, Sam Dimarco, Head of Stakeholder Relations at NBN Co, asserted that Netflix has been a catalyst for change. It has been blamed as the principal reason why the NBN is unable to deliver the quality that was promised by the Government. The article also mentioned Bill Morrow’s comment on this, admitting that […]

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Do we want to create true human robots?

Recently, I went to a lecture organised by the University of Sydney titled ‘Why should the perfect robot look and think just like a human?’ I was intrigued and perhaps even a bit dismayed about this title as I strongly believe that this is not the best direction for robotics. Furthermore, such a new human […]

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The NBN and Net Neutrality

While the network neutrality debate mainly applies in the U.S., it recently flared up in Australia when NBN Co discussed separate pricing regimes for video-based infrastructure. Net neutrality is breached when telecommunication companies provide a preferential pricing regime for companies offering video-based service. This basically creates a two-tiered system: a premium service for those providers […]

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Factfulness – there is also lots of positive news

I recently attended a lecture by Ola Rosling of the Swedish-based Gapminder Foundation, organised by the University of NSW. This was a refreshing event in a world of doom of gloom. In discussing what people know in relation to the developments in the world around us, it is frightening to hear how few people have […]

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Have we reached ‘Peak Telecom’ and what does this mean for 5G

“Peak telecom” is described as the maximum point of expansion reached by the traditional telecommunications industry before the internet commoditised the industry to a utility pipe. I had to think of this when I read the recent outcomes of the famous Ericsson Consumer Lab survey. The company used the result of the survey to counteract market criticism […]

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IoT – The Game Changer

Guestblog by Ana Bera It is estimated that by 2020, there will be 50 billion IoT devices will be up and running. To put things in context, the number of connected devices in 2015 was 25 billion, which only goes to show how quickly this technology is taking off. The future is happening now, and […]

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Spinning the pay TV pirating issue

It is interesting to follow announcements from former leaders. I recently compared Malcolm Turnbull’s suggestion for government intervention in the telecoms manufacturing market with his stand as a liberal politician who frowns upon government intervention. This time- but on a different topic –  I am looking at an assessment Kim Williams, a former CEO of […]

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Smart Energy review – Transactive Energy Models

In my review of the smart energy market I looked at new technological developments and innovations that the industry discussed a decade ago, but that never  led us anywhere as successive government have failed to come up with a smart energy policy for the country and as a consequence we have not seen any of […]

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Smart Energy Exchanges – engaging consumers in the electricity market.

During my time as director of Smart Grid Australia and the Global Smart Grid Federation I often used my experience from the telecoms industry to look at new opportunities in the smart energy market. While I started to talk about distributed energy infrastructure over a decade ago, nothing much has happened in the meantime. The […]

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What is the business case for 5G?

What is the business case for 5G? There is a lot of hype around 5G but none of it is new. We saw the same propaganda – fuelled by the manufacturers – in the run-up to the launch of the 3G and 4G versions of the mobile technology. Driverless cars and a range of other […]

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Did the NBN Board deliver the promised NBN outcomes?

A call for the resignation of the NBN Board goes to the heart of the NBN issue. Why did we build the NBN? What was the original vision? And why was the government willing to invest? At the time this was seen as a national asset. The call for resignation was made by Commpete, the […]

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Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity Commission from 1999 (20 years ago)

The wonders of electronics. I suddenly received a notification about this submission I made in 1999. It is interesting to look back on predictions I made 20 years ago 🙂 From: Paul Budde Sent: Monday, May 03, 1999 4:34 PM To: ’broadcasting@pc.gov.au’ Subject: Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity Commission   Broadcasting – Submission to Productivity […]

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Can Macquarie Bank run a niche mobile service?

Macquarie Bank Is  going to launch a mobile product in the telecoms market. This is an interesting development.. It doesn’t happen that often that an investment itself launches a mobile service, to be known as Nu Mobile. Even more remarkable is that it launches a niche mobile service known as a Mobile Virtual Network Operator […]

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Labor’s NBN strategy

It doesn’t come as a surprise that Labor’s plan for the NBN start with a full blown technical and financial review of the NBN. Labor’s  election plan for the NBN  was announced this morning  by the Shadow Minister for Communication Michelle Rowland. It is impossible to come up with any good strategy for the future […]

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Will the Federal election be able to end the NBN mess?

Over the last few months further information has come to light about the problems the NBN is facing and it is clear that the government will have to step in in order to address the mountain problems of the service. However, in all reality this will not happen till after the Federal Elections. The regular […]

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Telecommunications in Armenia

You might recall my recent visit to Armenia, where I had several smart city discussions. Of course, it was with great interest that I read BuddeComm’s new report on Armenia, a country that I will keep an eye on and certainly a country that warrants the attention of innovators, start-ups and investors as a range […]

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Macau’s smart city project gains momentum

Macau boasts a sophisticated, independently regulated communications market. Gradual liberalisation has now fully opened the telecoms market with the full impact slowly becoming evident. Fixed line subscriptions in Macau continue to fall. Macau’s fixed-line market is transitioning to a fibre broadband market as CTM invests significantly in fibre access networks, a project made possible given […]

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New opportunities to open up the mobile market.

In my various media comments on TPG’s withdrawal from the mobile network market, I commented on the one side that the government’s ban on Huawei was a great excuse for the company to abandon its ambitious infrastructure plans. Building such a new network doesn’t make economic sense, especially within the context of a merger with […]

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Happy New Year – The NBN and the Australian Telecoms Year ahead.

I hope that those of you who celebrated Christmas enjoyed being together with families and friends, and that everyone took the opportunity for a break from the everyday world. Happily the holiday season continues so most of us will have a bit more relaxing time ahead. And of course the new year is upon us. […]

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Barcelona’s Smart City Strategist visiting Australia

As the Digital Business Strategist for the Barcelona City Council, Joaquim Alvarez has been instrumental in helping transform the City of Barcelona into what Fortune Magazine recently called the Most Wired City in the World. Joaquim comes from a telecommunication engineering background, and is a specialist in software development and telematics communications. His passion for […]

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Comments on the 5G auction

The 5G auction brought in $853 million in the government’s coffers, while this is a lot of money the total amount of the spectrum sale is lower because of limited competition, partly because of the restrictions there were put on Optus and the nbn company regarding the amount of spectrum they can have in metropolitan […]

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No quick wins with 5G for Telstra

Despite the big PR splash from Telstra in relation to its 5G announcement, there was not much news beyond phones that look very similar to 4G phones and (video) services that can also be provided over 4G. I remain convinced that 5G is not going to provide any new revenues for Telstra and for Optus […]

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High-speed broadband infrastructure plays an important role in Smart Cities

  With the majority of citizens living in urban centres around the world, there has been a growing interest in ensuring these highly concentrated populations are living in the most sustainable and efficient environments possible. Smart Cities offer the ability to manage our growing populations and the limited resources and environmental issues we face. In […]

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Cooperative structure option for the NBN 

Guest blog by Stewart Fist Cooperative structure option for the NBN  The value of the full-fibre NBN being a “common good” –  should be seen the same as roadways.  But like toll-ways, governments and corporations can still find ways to export these facilities either for profit, or for stoking up their budgets. However there often […]

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Telstra banned from buying the NBN – why?

  A day or so after Telstra indicated  that in the right circumstances, and if the opportunity were to occur, it would be interested in buying the NBN but hot on the heels,  the ACCC announced that Telstra would not be allowed to buy the NBN. On the surface this makes sense. The disastrous situation […]

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Australian/New Zealand ‘Smart Urban Solutions’ mission to the Netherlands

Following the Smart City mission from the Netherlands that coincided with the visit of the Dutch Royal Couple in November 2016, earlier this month a combined Australian/New Zealand ‘Smart Urban Solutions’ mission visited the  Netherlands. The week-long visit focused on urban (re)development, smart mobility, the future of energy and sustainable building and innovative solutions created […]

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Smart cities – hype or reality?

Smart cities – hype or reality? I have recently read several critical and sceptical articles and announcements in relation to smart cities, and I have to say that I do share some of that cynicism. Unfortunately in most the cases projects, pilots and technologies that are carried out in the name of smart cities are […]

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Infratech reality or marketing plot.

Infratech seems to be a new buzzword in our world of technology. It covers the area of convergence  between technology and infrastructure. I have been involved in this market since its early beginnings, some 25 years ago (since the internet became mainstream) and I have seen first-hand how difficult it is to marry the two […]

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National Plan of Settlement: Good content – wrong strategy

I must have missed the run-up to this and so was surprised when the House of Representatives Standing Committee on Infrastructure, Transport and Cities last week published a report called National Plan of Settlement. According to this report Australia needs a national plan to encourage denser, better-connected and more sustainable cities. Among its 37 recommendations are two […]

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Smart Armenia – suggestion for a national approach

Last month I was honoured to be invited to be the special guest at BreakFAST, a Sunday morning breakfast meeting organised by Foundation for Armenian Science and Technology (FAST) in Yerevan, the capital of Armenia, this allowed me to share my telecoms and smart city insights with a group of select government, business and academic […]

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New CEO at the NBN company – where to go from here?

  The internal appointment of Stephen Rue clearly indicates that neither the government nor the NBN company are planning any changes. Some of the questions that have been raised over the last year include; does part of the nbn investment needs to be written down in order for it the be financial viable; what are the […]

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Vodafone – TPG merger

While I would have loved to see TPG entering the mobile market to bring some good competition to it, in the end business sense has prevailed and Vodafone and TPG have decided to look at merging the two companies. The market has long been dominated by egos and that has made it difficult sometimes to […]

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Smart City in Greater Copenhagen

I am still traveling through northern Europe, after Iceland, Netherlands, Germany and Russia it is now Denmark. On a private note I am visiting two early medieval Viking towns Hedeby and Ribe. These were already ‘smart’ towns between 800 and 1000, becoming part of the handful of leading trading cities in those days. Those who […]

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The city of Eindhoven promotes a smart society

The next Dutch city that I would like to focus on after Amsterdam and ‘s-Hertogenbosch  is Eindhoven. This is the city where Philips started its business some 150 years ago. And they developed this from light bulbs to some of the most sophisticated electronic devices in the world. But, as is the case for so […]

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Smart ‘s-Hertogenbosch is driven by data

After Russia I am now back in the Netherlands and, as mentioned in my previous blog on Amsterdam , I would like to highlight some of the smaller cities in the Netherlands. Amsterdam continues to receive most of the smart city attention, both internationally and in the Netherlands itself; but lots of interesting developments are […]

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Saint Petersburg Smart City 2030

When I travelled to Russia back in 1972 I was very much impressed by St Petersburg (then called Leningrad) as it was, at that time, already more westernised than Moscow. And on this trip, while this city also has seen massive changes I found the atmosphere still comparable to  1972 – rather different from what […]

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Telstra’s only option is cost cutting.

Comment This cost cutting was basically the only option out for Telstra in its current difficult situation. Over the last 30 years it has tried a lot of different things. I was at the launch of their Asia campaign in Geneva in  1992 where they claimed that by 2000, 25% of revenues would come from […]

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Smart City Moscow and the Wold Cup

If you have followed my previous blogs, I am on a smart  city tour through Europe. The next few blogs will cover developments in Russia. With the World Cup taking place (where we are barracking for the Australian team) the city, under the charismatic mayoral leadership of Sergey Sobyanin, used the occasion to spend $500 […]

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Big data portal for smart cities – and indeed a smart country

After Iceland, back in the Netherlands again and, as promised, a bit more information from this part of the world. It certainly is not just Amsterdam that is active in smart cities. In this article I will point to some 40+ local councils in the Netherlands that are providing smart city information. Setting an example […]

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The Greater Lyon data platform

 Further to my blog on Lyon a few weeks ago, here is some more information on the  city’s data platform, which is based entirely on free software and has many features to facilitate the use of data. This data platform offers broad access to metropolitan data. It contributes to the objectives of the Lyon Métropole […]

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Smart City Reykjavík

After traveling through France and the Netherlands (see previous blogs) we are now in Iceland. Iceland is a Nordic island country in the North Atlantic, with a population of 350,000 and an area of 103,000 square kilometres – mainly tundra –  making it the most sparsely populated country in Europe. The capital and largest city […]

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Update on Amsterdam Smart City

During our European trip (see also my previous blogs on France), the Netherlands has been our home base; so there are and will be plenty of opportunities to also make contact with our many smart city friends and colleagues here. Amsterdam remains the smart city capital of this country, but cities such as Eindhoven, The […]

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Lyon’s smart city strategy

Leaving Toulouse and Marseille (see previous blogs) we travelled to Lyon. The main reason for our visit to this city was that exactly a year ago I sold the research arm of my company to Ubiquick, and the new owners of BuddeComm are based in Lyon. We caught up with the management team and it […]

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Smart Marseille: a changing port city

For those of you who did not read my report on Toulouse. I am visiting a number of smart cities in Europe. Next is Marseille, this is the second-largest municipality in France and the third-largest conurbation, with over 1.5 million inhabitants. As a metropolis, a port and a city steeped in history, Marseille faces a […]

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Smart City Metropolis 2015-2020 – Toulouse open!

This is the first report from my smart city trip, which will take me from France to the Netherlands, Iceland, Russia and Armenia. We are also combining this trip with pleasure. Over the next three months you can expect regular travelogues from relevant smart city developments in the places I visit. We started in the […]

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Is there a business case for the National Broadband Network?

It will come as no surprise to those who have followed my analyses of the NBN over the last decade that in my submission to the Joint Standing Committee on the National Broadband Network Inquiry into the business case for the National Broadband Network I stated that  the business model and investment model for the […]

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Don’t miss Australia’s leading smart city event

In just over a month Australia’s leading smart city event will take place in Melbourne (10 and 11 May), organised by the Australian Smart Community Association (ASCA). One of the main reasons I call this the leading smart city event is that this is the only smart city conference in Australia where half of the […]

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A new smart suburb for the city of Helmond in the Netherlands

The city council of Helmond (a city in the south of the Netherland, close to Eindhoven) has approved plans for the construction of their Brainport Smart District (BSD). They will start with the preparation for its first projects, the building of around 1,500 new homes in a totally new suburb; a 12-hectare industrial estate will […]

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Green Smart Cities Expo 2022 in the Netherlands

GSC3 will play an instrumental role in the Smart City Floriade Expo which will take place in the Netherlands in 2022. What can ‘green thinking’ do for you and for the world? Exhibits and presentations at Expo 2022 Floriade Almere will show how the green city concept can be implemented and how to deal with […]

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Will 5G trigger smart city PPP collaboration?

As discussed in previous analyses, the arrival of 5G will trigger a totally new development in telecommunications. Not just in relation to better broadband services on mobile phones – it will also generate opportunities for a range of IoT (internet of things) developments that among other projects are grouped together under smart cities (feel free […]

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Good opportunities for the NBN

Ever since we started talking about the national broadband network there has been a constant flow of confusing information about the need for fixed broadband, especially in comparison with all the fascinating mobile broadband developments that are taking place. Often that confusion is fuelled from the top. Not so very long ago Malcolm Turnbull, when […]

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Smart City Barcelona goes open source

When talking about smart cities Barcelona has a special place in my heart. You might recall my blog from Barcelona late last year, reporting on the changes in that city. Barcelona was one of the first to tackle so-called smart city issues. Over the years  they received  internal criticism – claims that it was all […]

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Long-term investment opportunities in smart cities

Questions for the investment community The federal government’s Smart City Plan, with a follow-up $75 million in grants as well as its City Deals, is stimulating a more strategic approach towards smart cities. In all, there are a dozen cities in Australia that have a solid smart strategy in place, backed up by high-level city […]

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The Dutch Smart City Strategy

There is close collaboration between the Australian and Dutch smart city movements – Amsterdam has presented its smart city activities here in Australia at many events over the last five years; there has been an Australian-Dutch Smart City Summit in Sydney in 2016; there have been ministerial visits from both sides; and most recently the […]

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Optus makes sure there will be competition in 5G

After lots of talk about 5G being a potential competitor to the NBN, Optus is throwing the cat among the pigeons. Its announcement of a fixed wireless product is challenging the NBN head-on. It will be interesting to see what the reaction from the national broadband company will be, as it has already hinted at […]

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Youth Mobility Index Report in Asia

Info supplied by YMI.Asia. To commemorate its 10th year anniversary, operator of the ‘.Asia’ domain, released a ‘Youth Mobility Index (YMI.Asia)’ report. It aims to measure the social, geo-physical and digital mobility of younger generations across Asia to better support young Asian entrepreneurs setting out to change the world. YMI.Asia rankings are built on their […]

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Smart cities should be based on social considerations

While there is a general positive vibe regarding smart cities ther are also serious concerns about the way developments are currently taking place. This has mainly to do with a general lack of a people-focussed strategy – in particular in relation to social elements and personal morals, beliefs and emotions. We have been following what […]

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What is the future for our mobile network operators?

‘Wireless is just one wire less’ or ‘Wireless is just spectrum wrapped around a  fibre core” The Australian mobile telecommunication industry is continuing to resist structural changes, but the reality is that if they don’t transform, technology will do it for them. We have seen the fixed telecom operators slowly being pushed back into the […]

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Vocus and TPG continue to challenge Telstra and Optus

TPG Telecom Limited acquired local ISP iiNet. TPG is now Australia’s second-biggest provider of fixed-line broadband in Australia with over 1.7 million customers. Services including voice, internet and data solutions are provided to a customer base ranging from the consumer market through to small and medium enterprises, corporate and government sectors. The company also owns a […]

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Australia’s top three Telcos face growing competition

Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications provider offering a full range of telecom services throughout Australia. The company provides basic access services to most homes and businesses, local and long-distance telephone call services, and mobile and internet services. Wholesale services are also provided to ISPs and RSPs while advertising and subscription television services are provided through subsidiary […]

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The NBN in the broader context of global telecom developments

Just back from my trip to Europe where I followed some of the key international telecoms developments. Because of the highly politicised situation around the NBN in Australia it is important to look beyond the sometimes parochially-focussed NBN discussion in our country. At the joint forum of the Long-Term Infrastructure Investments Association (LTIIA) and the […]

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HFC: the next NBN debacle.

The problem with the NBN  multi technology mix  (MtM) policy is that they are using old technologies and if you are going to upgrade this you will come across lots of nasty surprises, as already has become clear in relation to the FttN part of the project. Some parts of the cable infrastructure is even […]

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Smart City World Congress Barcelona: Dutch Australian Collaboration

A key reason for my participation in the Smart City World Congress in Barcelona was to further work on international smart city collaboration that was started exactly a year ago at the Dutch Australian Smart City Summit in Sydney, which was attended by Her Majesty Queen Maxima of the Netherlands. Since that time there have […]

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Housing affordability and smart cities

Only a few decades ago there were only a handful of megacities around the world. Now there are more than 1000 cities with between 1 and 2 million inhabitants, and 40 cities with more than 10 million people. If we look at population growth in these megacities it is interesting to note that in general […]

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Hello from Smart City Barcelona

I am in Barcelona at the moment for the Smart City World Congress. With Catalonia and its capital city Barcelona currently in the international political spotlight it’s a fascinating time to be here again. From my visitor’s perspective life looks normal – perhaps a few more Catalonian flags around, but most were there already when […]

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The next NBN battle: Affordability vs Profit

The ACCC has announced an investigation into the NBN. The trouble is that the NBN needs a political solution; the current problems can’t be solved through regulatory changes. The underlying policy model is flawed and that issue will need to be addressed before we can solve the rest of the mess. Sadly, this will not […]

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The Smart City Expo World Congress 2017 in Barcelona

The Global Smart City and Community Coalition (GSC3) is running the famous Holland Pavilion (those who have been in Barcelona before, know what I mean 😊. At the GSC3 stand also the eight Australian GSC3 cities will be on display: Adelaide, Bendigo, Canberra, Newcastle, Lake Macquarie, Sydney, Ipswich and Moreton Bay. Several representatives of these […]

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Charles Todd Medal acceptance speech

  This year I have been awarded with the prestigious Charles Todd Medal for Excellence in Communications. The presentation was done by Charles’ great-grandson Barry in the presence of representatives of the telecommunications industry at a luncheon organised by Telsoc.   The Charles Todd Medal The award was established by ATUG (the Australian Telecommunications Users […]

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Cost savings on petrol could propel EVs in Australia

There recently have been reports in the Australian media about a report from the Australian Institute that the country is internationally lagging in the sale of electric vehicles (EVs). Only 0.1% of all cars sold in Australia were electric in 2015 (just over 1100 new EVs were bought here), compared with 23% of all new […]

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Australia progressing as a major APAC data centre hub

BuddeComm describes ‘big data’ as looking at intelligent outcomes that can be achieved from data collaboration. The most critical issue here is strategic management, rather than technology. Big data has become a vital tool as competition is forcing many companies to transform their organisations from a company-centric approach to a customer-centric one. The fact that […]

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The future NBN might look rather different

In all reality it looks like the multi-technology mix (MTM) as it is currently being rolled out by the nbn company is as good as it will get. Some Australians will have an excellent service, especially those on fibre-to-the-home (FttH) and fibre-to-the-curb (FttC) technologies. Others won’t see any difference from the current ADSL services they […]

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Don’t look at Kenya, look at Sweden.

  A recent article from Bloomberg on the NBN, in which I was also quoted, mentioned that Kenya had faster broadband than Australia. While that was true for a tiny part of that country, most people in Kenya don’t have speeds that high. The Australian Prime Minister jumped on that and ridiculed the Bloomberg comparison. […]

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Smart energy – or tilting at windmills

I have been involved in smart energy developments since 2001 (UtiliTel, Digital Economy Working Group, Smart Grid Australia, Global Smart Grid Federation). During this time I have been in contact with all levels of government and all major energy companies as well as with the broader business and R&D eco-systems around them.  See No smart […]

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Digital media and media diversity

The changes recently proposed to the Broadcasting Act will allow for a further concentration of media power in Australia. While from a commercial point of view the traditional media most certainly are under attack from the digital media the fact is that the traditional media wield a far greater power over national politics than all […]

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The importance of high-speed broadband in regional Australia

It is still a battle to extend the perception of the importance of high-speed broadband beyond fast access to the internet or to Netflix. But the social and economic benefits are equally important, especially looking towards medium- and long-term future development of the region. The healthcare, government services and education sectors are undergoing massive transformations, […]

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Upgrading the NBN with G.fast has its limitations

Quite coincidentally, at the same time that G.fast is being discussed in Australia a similar discussion is taking place in the USA; and there is doubt there too about the contribution that G.fast can make to improve the performance of the faltering broadband systems in both countries. G.fast is a band-aid solution that can be […]

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The end of the Foxtel wars

The announcement of the proposed merger of Foxtel with Fox Sport Australia, combined with Telstra’s agreement to dilute its shareholding in the pay TV operator, paves the way for the end of the Foxtel war between News Corp Australia (formerly News Limited) and Telstra.  The decline in revenue and subscriber numbers will most certainly have […]

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Telstra: shareholders vs customers

It is worthwhile to analyse what is behind Telstra’s recent announcements that it will both cut its dividend and sell $5bn in future NBN revenue. These announcements drowned out the rather solid earnings for the previous financial year and an interesting program of capital investments in its existing network. While the NBN deals negotiated by […]

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Various drivers are propelling Smart City developments

The impetuous towards developing Smart Cities can be driven by a number of factors. It may be that citizens, who have increasingly becoming accustomed to the convenience of services being made available through the internet and through apps on their smart phones and tablets become frustrated when ICT services and infrastructure aren’t keeping up. This […]

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Government policy is to blame not the nbn nor the RSPs

It is interesting, but sad, to see the blame game that is going on in the telecoms industry. As with so many of the nbn problems, at the core it is a problem created by politicians. This one goes back to the original nbn policy, and it was the Labor government that created the CVC […]

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Let’s press the reset button on the NBN

Opinion editorial for the Australian Financial Review There are now overwhelming signs that all is not well with the NBN, through its ACMA intervention the government now also admits that all is not well. ACMA will investigate the war that is going on between the nbn company and its customers, the retail service providers (RSPs). […]

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The smart city market moving towards 2018

Back in 2001 I initiated the very first smart city event in Australia. In all some 75 representatives of Australian local councils gathered in Brighton-Le-Sands in Sydney. The focus of that event was the broadbanding of local communities around the country. This was seen by the local councils as one of the most important elements […]

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Smart Cities: Technologies, Challenges and Future Prospects

As you can see below I am one of the authors of this publication. On behalf of the publishers,  I can offer a 20% discount on any pre-orders of the book  (I am not receiving any royalties nor do I have any other financial interest in this publication). There are several different definitions of “smart cities” […]

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Australian National Broadband Network rollout finally gains momentum

Within the market there is a dynamic shift among customers to fibre networks, as this infrastructure is being built out by nbn (NBN Co), the company responsible for the national broadband deployment. Australia’s broadband sector is making improved progress in its migration to a multi-technology the NBN. Growth in the overall number of broadband subscribers […]

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FttH business model is gaining strength

The message I am getting from talks with some of the European telcos is that many of them who began to implement FttN solutions a decade or so ago now see that a profitable business model for a full FttH network is within reach. The uptake of higher-speed packages is steadily increasing. In general terms, […]

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Australia’s NBN preps for G.fast and DOCSIS3.1 services in 2017

Growth in the Australian fixed broadband market has slowed in line with higher penetration rates. Within the market there is a dynamic shift among customers to fibre networks, as this infrastructure is being built out by nbn (NBN Co), the company responsible for the national broadband deployment. While fibre has become by far the fastest […]

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Update on Singapore’s journey towards a smart nation

Just over two years ago Singapore announced its proposals for a program which was entitled Smart Nation. The ambitious project was designed in order to fasten the city, residents and government into a new digital age of innovation and industry. Singapore is making the bold transition from a successful city to Smart Nation. It already […]

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NBN legislation might still work out positively

There are many problems with the NBN, but one of the few elements of the original plan that has not been changed might have a longer-term positive outcome – that is, if the nbn company is in fact able to upgrade most of its network to FttC and FttH. I am talking about the monopoly […]

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IoT network for farmers

Agriculture is forecast to be one of the key industries where the Internet of Things can make a significant contribution to Australia’s future growth and competitiveness. The future of farming is in collecting and analysing big data in order to maximise efficiency, mitigate risk and drive productivity. Connected farmers will be able to monitor and […]

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Telecoms infrastructure and digital technologies lead the way

  There are a number of industries leading the current changes brought about by the digital evolution – but none more so than the ICT industry. This sector alone has been transformational in developing the appropriate infrastructure, services and equipment required to underpin our societies of the future. The enormous shift towards digital technologies continues […]

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Global Smart Energy Developments

There is no doubt that we are in the midst of an energy revolution. Not only is the nature of energy changing from fossil-generated energy to renewable – there is a total change in the distribution structure occurring with less focus on centralisation and more on distributed energy. Concerns about issues such as energy security, […]

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BuddeComm sale to Ubiquick

Personal message from Paul Budde I take great pleasure in announcing that BuddeComm has recently been acquired by the French-based research company the Ubiquick Group. After creating BuddeComm nearly 40 years ago it is time to look towards a change for Louise and myself.  A key factor in this decision was the purchaser’s ability to […]

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Dutch Smart City Delegation back in Australia

It will be the third time in six months that a Dutch Smart City Mission will visit Australia. This time the visit will coincide with next week’s Smart Communities Conference in Adelaide, organised by the Australian Smart Communities Association (ASCA). The first visit took place in November last year when Queen Maxima of the Netherlands […]

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The Australian Digital Media Industry Continues its Transformation

With the rise of digital platforms, the media industry has had to change and the transformation continues in 2017. In newspaper and book publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, film, music, and other forms of media, we see that the national walls that protect local organisations within traditional models are crumbling. In other words, it is […]

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Consolidation in Australia’s VOD Market Begins

Australia’s leading pay TV provider FOXTEL during the last few years has struggled to increase pay TV penetration in Australia. The market has also seen the launch of competing OTT platforms, including Stan and Netflix. These offer competitively priced basic packages, commonly below AU$10 per month letting consumers’ view content at a time of their […]

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The broadband tax

From the moment this suggestion was first mooted I was strongly opposed to the broadband tax that the government proposed in December 2016.  It will slam around $7 per month on fixed broadband subscriptions, making the price broadband services in Australia among the highest in the developed economies. The aim of the tax is to […]

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The role of FttH in the development of 5G

As the roll out of FttH remains a slow process it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative. Obviously mobile communication has improved over recent years in providing excellent access to broadband; and it has also become more affordable. At the same time there is the […]

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Smart Homes

Back in 1980 when I still lived in the Netherlands I worked with the Dutch futurist Griet Titulaer (an astronomer by trade) in building ‘The Home of the Future’. I would say that at that stage it was more built around innovative interior design with automation features. Home entertainment also played a key role in […]

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360VR video of Australia’s leading smart cities

Last November the Global Smart Communities and Cities Coalition (GSC3) started to set up partnerships with Australian cities. ASCA was one of the first organisations who signed a MoU with GSC3 in the presence of the Queen Maxima of the Netherlands during the Australian – Netherlands Smart City Summit co-hosted by ASCA. GSC3 was back […]

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The role of the NBN in the development of 5G

With an NBN that is failing many customers it is no wonder that more and more people are looking towards mobile as a potential alternative. Obviously mobile communication has improved over recent years in providing excellent access to broadband; and it has also become more affordable. At the same time there is the fabulous hype […]

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2Degrees – where to go from here?

For more than a decade I have followed the trials and tribulations of New Zealand’s third mobile operator, 2Degrees. This story started at a time when regulation in New Zealand (or more to the point, the lack of it) very much favoured the incumbent operator, at that stage called Telecom New Zealand. From the very […]

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The remarkable story of Fetch

Broadcasting, video media, streaming are topics that are always in the headlines of the media. But it is a mixed bag of comments that you hear: ‘Broadcasting is on the way out’ ‘Netflix reaches 2 million users’, ‘Telstra struggles with Big Pond’, ‘Video streaming overtakes mobile usage’…. the list goes on. We saw the traditional […]

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Mobile infrastructure will ultimately rely on fibre broadband

In 2017 mobile broadband subscriptions are growing rapidly and LTE infrastructure now carries over 65% of all global mobile traffic. While mobile and fixed will always exist in parallel, there is no doubt that with a faltering fixed network and an excellent mobile network, mobile will give fixed a run for its money. With competitively […]

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Competitive global mobile market sees the rise of regional leaders

The global mobile market has become far more competitive in most markets around the world due to liberalisation, the rise of Over-The-Top (OTT) providers and, in some cases, the introduction of MVNOs. In addition, as operators go hunting for new revenue streams, there has been much regional and international expansion occurring – along with consolidation. […]

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The Next Big Thing

Last week I chaired a number of very well-attended sessions at the Connect Conference in Melbourne. My compliments to the organisers, who had gathered together a range of excellent speakers, very different from the commercially motivated group of speakers who so often feature at commercial conferences. The Plenary Opening session featured Dr Amanda Caples, the […]

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No smart energy policy for Australia

My involvement in the Australian energy market started in 2001 when I brought  the energy companies together in Sydney, be it at that at that time we were looking at utilising their infrastructure to assist the ailing telecommunications market that was dominated by Telstra who was at that time unwilling to introduce residential broadband services […]

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Australia progressing as a major APAC data centre hub

BuddeComm describes ‘big data’ as looking at intelligent outcomes that can be achieved from data collaboration. The most critical issue here is strategic management, rather than technology. Big data has become a vital tool as competition is forcing many companies to transform their organisations from a company-centric approach to a customer-centric one. The fact that […]

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The state of telecoms competition in Australia

fter the rowdy 1990s and early 00s the dust did settle a bit on the competition problems that continued during that period – more than 20 Inquiries, many court cases and ongoing regulatory corrections. The situation settled down somewhat with the arrival of a new CEO at Telstra, David Thodey in 2006. Subsequent changes to […]

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NBN customer service is appalling

Back in October last year we reported on our disappointment regarding our two NBN services. We have an FttB service in Sydney (replacing our ADSL2+ service) and a satellite connection in Bucketty (100km from Sydney). As reported, both services are disappointing. The service in Sydney is no better than the previous ADSL2+ service, but at least no […]

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Australia’s MNOs prepare for migration to 5G

The Australian mobile market is dominated by the three major mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone (VHA), though there are numerous MVNOs which have a significant market share. MVNOs have been able to offer LTE services on a wholesale basis since early 2016, thus encouraging growth in the LTE sector and cementing the role […]

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Golden Ratio statues presented to five Australian smart city organisations

At the Dutch Australian Smart City Summit that I organised today, five Australian smart city organisations have received the Golden Ratio statue in recognition for their future collaboration with the Global Smart City and Community Coalition (GSC3). The presentation followed the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the GSC3 and the Australian Smart […]

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Venice: a model for smart cities?

Hello from Bella Italia and in this case from the previous Republic of Venezia. The town has long been a city state and this has helped them in being strategic about its role in a world where more and more policies are pushed back to a city level. Furthermore as we all know Venice has […]

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Report from smart city Naples

This time a report from Napoli; an amazing city more authentic Italian than the ‘real’ holidays cities in Italy. It has a very long history it started as a Greek city (Neapolis) around 600BC. During the Middle Ages it was – after Paris – the 2nd largest city in Europe. As of the whole of Southern […]

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Disappointment with our NBN services

As we have mentioned before, the NBN, as it is being rolled out at the moment, is as good as it will get for many years to come. While we remain critical of the government decision to abandon the FttH rollout we are also realistic and there is no option other than to accept what […]

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Hello from Amsterdam

This time to report, not on developments in the Netherlands, but on the progress of the Dutch Smart City mission that will be arriving in Australia at the end of October. This year is the 400th anniversary of the landing of Dirk Hartog in what is now Shark Bay, Western Australia. He placed an inscribed pewter […]

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QUESS and Quantum Communications

In mid August China launched “QUESS” (Quantum Experiments at Space Scale), a new type of satellite that it hopes will be capable of “quantum communications” which is supposed to be hack-proof, through the use of “quantum entanglement”. This allows the operator to ensure that no one else is listening to your communications by reliably distributing […]

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Flawed NBN structure undermines competition

Bevan Slattery’s scathing attack on ACCC boss Rod Sims in CommsDay might be a reflection of the attacker’s towering personality but he most certainly has a point. When the government changed the NBN policy from full fibre to mixed technology they fundamentally changed the nature of the project, including the underlying fundamentals. That being the case, […]

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High-speed infrastructure takes hold – paving the way for revenue streams

Recently there was an important development for the broadband sector when the market share of fibre infrastructure lines finally overtook DSL technologies as the largest on a global level. The fixed broadband network is the infrastructure needed to meet the needs, both economic and societal, of the developed markets. In fact in many of these […]

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The next development in wireless broadband

In the USA the FCC has started the discussion on the next level of telecoms in the wireless market, aimed at making spectrum in bands above 24GHz available for flexible-use of wireless services,  including next-generation, or 5G networks and technologies. New technologies such as massive-MIMO are going to make it possible to deliver ‘fibre-like’ speeds […]

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Fibre optic technologies for the next 50 years

It might be hard to imagine but we were already talking about fibre to the home networks back in the 1970s and 1980s. This was in the early days of interactive TV and pay TV and fibre optics were already at that time seen as the next level of telecoms infrastructure needed for such services. […]

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Australia’s MVNOs now accessing the world’s fastest LTE networks

The three LTE networks operated by Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have been developed rapidly during the past two years. These MNOs are striving to provide an infrastructure capable of meetings customer demand for mobile broadband services, and are also preparing for the possibilities anticipated through the deployment of 5G within the next few years. Telstra […]

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Tesla doing a Google in the Australian electricity industry?

Back in 2001 I established Utilitel, an industry alliance of all the major electricity companies in Australia. The initial set-up was aimed at looking at business opportunities for the utilities in the telecoms industry and over the subsequent years various new telecoms businesses were established by the utilities. Obviously this was a tough market and […]

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The complexity of multifunctional smart city projects

One of the so-called low-hanging fruits in smart city plans is street lighting. Significant savings can be achieved by replacing the existing system with LED light and allowing for the management of light contingent on the level of traffic. This, of course, also results in cost savings. I discussed the street lighting project with my […]

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Pay TV market under increasing threat from Video Streaming market

The digital TV and video streaming industry has changed beyond recognition and it continues to evolve in 2016. Consumer habits are shifting from broadcast TV to on-demand content – especially streaming. Traditional TV viewing is increasingly facing competition from other viewing platforms such as smart phones, tablets, and Smart TVs. Choice is the key. Broadcasters […]

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The Apps and Entertainment market continues to evolve

With the rise of digital platforms, the media industry is rapidly changing. In newspaper and book publishing, TV and radio broadcasting, film, music, and other forms of media, we see that the national walls that protect local organisations within traditional models are crumbling. In other words, it is no longer an issue of local market […]

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China Continues to Evolve as a World Leader in the Digital Media Sector

The Chinese telecom market is the largest in the world in terms of subscribers and is undergoing transition. Mobile subscriptions outnumber fixed voice connections and voice is giving way to data as the primary revenue generator. China’s telecom market is served by three operators; China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile. All three are integrated […]

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Is 5G over-hyped?

It probably is because we are so good at doing that in our industry. We start with over-promising and under-delivering and then in following years we fix it. So why would 5G be different? Our admirable technology companies are telling us that 5G will be 100x faster than 4G and that it will have 50x […]

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The global streaming revolution is taking place

The global digital media entertainment market continues to go from strength to strength in 2016. In particular the global streaming revolution is gathering pace. Streaming is closing in on broadcast TV and the Internet now rivals broadcast TV as a vehicle to deliver consumer content. The entertainment industry generally is flourishing on the back of […]

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Is building FttH cheaper than upgrading the HFC networks?

Within the debate of the Multi Technology Mix of the Australian NBN, where the HFC also gets included in this mix for approx 20-25% of the connections, it interesting to follow the debate on the upgrade of this infrastructure in America. Cable networks around the world are now faced with a major technology upgrade known […]

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Smart Cities and the open data dilemma

Many city councils are grappling with the big data issue. A key driver for their city to become smarter is to provide citizens with access to data sets that they can use to build new applications and services. As mentioned before, the smartest city will be the one with the smartest apps. On the one […]

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Waiting 30 years for smart homes and still counting

Back in 1980 when I still lived in the Netherlands I worked with the Dutch futurist Griet Titulaer (an astronomer by trade) in building ‘The Home of the Future’. I would say that at that stage it was more built around innovative interior design with automation features. Home entertainment also played a key role in […]

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Smart City Ipswich

When the Australian government’s National Broadband Network was announced in 2009, Ipswich partnered with surrounding regions to create what they called the Western Corridor National Broadband Network in order to attract national interests and investments. This early start paid off well for the council as it became one of the first recipients of the NBN […]

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VR demand set to grow, but little prospect for telcos

Over the last 20 years or so we have regularly revisited the developments in virtual reality (VR). I remember experiencing VR for the first time in the late 1980s, so this technology has been in the making for a very long time. And we are still uncertain about its growth over the next decade. There […]

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Will STEM and flipped classrooms lead the e-education transformation?

At regular intervals I like to report on developments in e-education. As far back as the 1990s I earmarked the education sector as one of the major beneficiaries of the new developments in digital technologies. I even predicted that this would be one of the first sectors that would take advantage of the transformational aspects […]

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Smart community conference Tokyo

Last week I attended this most interesting conference. One striking element of the event was that every Japanese presenter mentioned ‘the disaster’ at least once in their presentation. This is how they refer to the Fukushima nuclear disaster. They almost never specify the ‘nuclear’ disaster; if they don’t just use the word ‘disaster’ they refer […]

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The highway of the future – Oss, The Netherlands

On my recent trip to Europe I also visited my hometown Oss, Brabant, in the southern (better J) part of the Netherlands. Here I drove on the ‘Highway of the Future’, a 6km access road from one of the main the freeways into the city and its industrial areas. This local project has national significance […]

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Most M2M activity is taking place unnoticed

There certainly is a lot of interest in the M2M and Internet of Everything (IoT) market in 2016. But what we are seeing is only what is happening on the surface. Most of the M2M activities are taking place unnoticed. For example, all new electronic devices are now M2M devices. Tens of millions of smart […]

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The Internet Monopoly

The all-powerful social network sites People are increasingly becoming aware of the emerging ‘internet monopoly’. Companies such as Google, Facebook, Twitter and many  the other (local) social network and media sites are becoming so large and powerful that they can dictate the use of their services in such a way that people lose control over […]

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Trans sector meeting with Dutch Minister of Economic Affairs

The following is a translation of the press release that was issued by the Ministry after my meeting with Minister Frank Heemskerk in 2009 whereby I officially presented him with a copy of the Big Think Report on Trans Sector Thinking. The Minister, on June 3rd met with Paul Budde to discuss broadband policies. Minister […]

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