Blog

New NBN proposal smoke and mirrors, no real reform.

While the NBN Co’s discussion paper on its special access undertaking variation is to be welcomed, the question remains whether this really is going to make true high-speed broadband more affordable. On several occasions, we have discussed the contentious wholesale pricing regime and, in particular, a charge known as the connectivity virtual circuit (CVC), which …

New NBN proposal smoke and mirrors, no real reform. Read More »

Also, with electric vehicles Australia is trailing the world.

We have had former Prime Minister Tony Abbott’s “kill the NBN” policy, Scott Morrison bringing a lump of coal into the Parliament and then-Small Business Minister Michaelia Cash tried to scare Australian ute drivers by proclaiming they would be obliterated by electric vehicles (EVs). Scott Morrison also questioned the need for big batteries, which he …

Also, with electric vehicles Australia is trailing the world. Read More »

Enough is enough ACCC will become involved in the NBN monopoly.

NBN Co has released its plans for the 2021 pricing review consultation process. It is seeking retail service provider (RSP) and broader industry feedback on current and future matters of NBN wholesale pricing. However, in its outline of what will be reviewed, it became clear that the key issues are not on the discussion list. …

Enough is enough ACCC will become involved in the NBN monopoly. Read More »

$100 billion national broadband plan for America.

The new Biden Administration in the USA laid out a $100 billion proposal for broadband investment as part of its $2 trillion+  infrastructure plan. Under the proposal, the plan is to provide national broadband coverage. The Administration will use better competition measures, such a price transparency, the use of public utility infrastructure and subsidies for …

$100 billion national broadband plan for America. Read More »

Connected Farms

Late last year I wrote an article on e-agriculture activities based on my trip into outback Queensland Agriculture ICT and travelling in Outback Queensland. I received this follow up from Tom Andrews from Connected Farms. I recall that last October you did an excellent article about the importance of connectivity for the  Australian farming sector …

Connected Farms Read More »

Broadband users are going to pay for failed NBN policies.

For more than a decade – dating back to the original NBN plan from the Labor Government – the retail service providers (RSPs) have argued against the unpredictable variable elements in its wholesale charges (the so-called connectivity virtual charges or CVCs). We have covered this at length in previous articles going back at least to …

Broadband users are going to pay for failed NBN policies. Read More »

Are the LEOs going to disrupt the telco market?

We are getting closer to using alternative broadband solutions, offered by international companies. Local telecommunication entities will in this respect be relegated to resellers. The reality of accessing low Earth orbiting satellite (LEO) services is now clearly on the horizon. Most of the telcos as well as governments are not prepared for the potential shock …

Are the LEOs going to disrupt the telco market? Read More »

Australian fixed broadband in the international context.

During the past two decade, there have been considerable efforts undertaken by governments and national telecom regulators to ensure that their countries’ economic growth is underpinned by capable broadband infrastructure. The success of national policies has been variable, but the scale of investment and the way the development of fibre infrastructure has been encouraged has …

Australian fixed broadband in the international context. Read More »

NBN wants us to pay more for their broadband service.

Over the last few weeks, we have seen several new announcements from NBN Co. The key announcements include: A payment of $3 billion to the Government as a repayment of their $19.5 billion investment; An extra 100,000 fibre-to-the-node (FttN) premises will be upgraded to fibre-to-the-premise (FttP) infrastructure; and A complex review of their already complex …

NBN wants us to pay more for their broadband service. Read More »

Macquarie Group is set to shake up the digital infrastructure market.

A few months ago, I reported on the broader market of which telecommunications infrastructure is a part. I mentioned data centres, cloud computing and data analytics (big data). All together we can perhaps best call this digital infrastructure. While the importance of this merged set of infrastructures will benefit all economies and societies, I recently …

Macquarie Group is set to shake up the digital infrastructure market. Read More »

What will 2021 have install for the ICT industry?

While 2021 will remain a year with lots of uncertainties, at the same we can say that the pandemic has not affected the information and communications technology (ICT) industry in any significant way. Yes, there has been a slowdown, for example, in the sale of smartphones. Shortages in both materials and expertise are slowing the …

What will 2021 have install for the ICT industry? Read More »

Massive renewable energy projects underpinned by ICT technologies

In the mid to late 2000s, I set up the industry association Smart Grid Australia (SGA). The reason why I became involved in the smart energy sector was that earlier that decade I had established the industry group UtiliTel. At that time, Telstra was reluctant to go even beyond the integrated services digital network (ISDN) …

Massive renewable energy projects underpinned by ICT technologies Read More »

The break-up of Telstra: Interesting potential new telecoms scenarios.

For decades, we have basically been conditioned to look at the telecoms market based on the regulatory arrangements that exist around it. The Postmaster-General’s Department (PMG) which became Telecom Australia was a state-owned business that had the monopoly on all telecoms services and was mainly paid for by taxpayers. The market was opened in the …

The break-up of Telstra: Interesting potential new telecoms scenarios. Read More »

Smart Regional Towns – Game changers for reginal and rural Australia

Developments in telecommunications and technology are key to creating more liveable regional centres. At the recent CommsDay Summit, two interesting Low Earth Orbiting Satellites (LEOsat) services were mentioned. . A few months ago I wrote an extensive article on this subject., which provides some global background information on these satellite development. At the conference, Michael …

Smart Regional Towns – Game changers for reginal and rural Australia Read More »

Government backed NBN monopoly is flexing its muscles

Over the last year, we have discussed the unsustainably high wholesale charges that NBN Co is raking in. They need this just to recoup the blowout of the investments in their second-rate multi-technology mix (MtM) infrastructure. The Government, following its election win in 2013, handpicked a new NBN team. They were favourable to their policies, …

Government backed NBN monopoly is flexing its muscles Read More »

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 …

Agriculture ICT and travelling in Outback Queensland Read More »

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 …

Vale Brian Perkins Read More »

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 …

Smart cities want to co-design change with Telcos Read More »

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, …

The digital economy is spreading out more broadly. Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

City-as-a-service – new business and investment model Read More »

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 …

Internet of Things requires a rethink of business models. Read More »

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, …

Nano networks set to revolutionise edge computing Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Innovative entertainment industry will bounce forwards after Covid Read More »

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 …

Digital economy essential for regional Australia Read More »

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, …

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

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 …

Encouraging online lessons from the corona crisis Read More »

NBN Co is giving in to pressure to stop competing with its own retail customers.

The original plans for the NBN were to build a high-speed residential broadband network that would be made available to the other telcos on a wholesale basis.  Corporate infrastructure was basically left out of the plan as these organisations were in general well serviced by competing networks. But wait there was a loophole. What exactly …

NBN Co is giving in to pressure to stop competing with its own retail customers. Read More »

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, …

The role of FttH in the development of 5G Read More »

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, …

Broadband driven Smart Energy Developments Read More »

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 …

The power of data in smart city developments Read More »

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 …

Full fibre NBN back on the agenda Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

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

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 …

Successful smart cities require significant ICT infrastructure Read More »

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 …

Australia leads the South East Asian data centre market Read More »

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 …

Australia’s NBN makes slow progress Read More »

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 …

Successful smart cities require significant ICT infrastructure Read More »

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 …

Fibre to the farm provides opportunities for rural Australia Read More »

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 …

Changing the goalposts and voila here is the new NBN corporate plan Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Not Netflix but Government killed the NBN Read More »

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 …

The NBN and Net Neutrality Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Spinning the pay TV pirating issue Read More »

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 …

Smart Energy Exchanges – engaging consumers in the electricity market. Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Can Macquarie Bank run a niche mobile service? Read More »

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 …

Macau’s smart city project gains momentum Read More »

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 …

New opportunities to open up the mobile market. Read More »

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. …

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

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 …

Barcelona’s Smart City Strategist visiting Australia Read More »

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 …

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

NBN and the common good – write offs and Telstra’s interest in buying it.

Looking back over the last 30 years less emphasis is now placed on the ‘common good’ than was the case before the 1980s. I will link this to the NBN a bit further in this analysis. Over the last few decades, often for very good reasons, we began to privatise what had been government businesses …

NBN and the common good – write offs and Telstra’s interest in buying it. Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

National Plan of Settlement: Good content – wrong strategy Read More »

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 …

Smart Armenia – suggestion for a national approach Read More »

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 …

Big data portal for smart cities – and indeed a smart country Read More »

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 …

Smart City Reykjavík Read More »

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 …

Is there a business case for the National Broadband Network? Read More »

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 …

A new smart suburb for the city of Helmond in the Netherlands Read More »

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 …

Will 5G trigger smart city PPP collaboration? Read More »

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 …

Long-term investment opportunities in smart cities Read More »

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 …

Optus makes sure there will be competition in 5G Read More »

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 …

Smart cities should be based on social considerations Read More »

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 …

What is the future for our mobile network operators? Read More »

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 …

Vocus and TPG continue to challenge Telstra and Optus Read More »

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 …

Australia’s top three Telcos face growing competition Read More »

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 …

The NBN in the broader context of global telecom developments Read More »

Call for national smart city collaboration and the formation of the Council of Smart City Mayors

With the announcement of the  government’s first smart city grants in WA and the NT – with others to follow soon – it is time to start looking at national smart city collaboration in order to achieve a maximum outcome from the funds that are made available and to ensure that we don’t simply end …

Call for national smart city collaboration and the formation of the Council of Smart City Mayors Read More »

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 …

Smart City World Congress Barcelona: Dutch Australian Collaboration Read More »

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 …

The Smart City Expo World Congress 2017 in Barcelona Read More »

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 …

Charles Todd Medal acceptance speech Read More »

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 …

Cost savings on petrol could propel EVs in Australia Read More »

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 …

Australia progressing as a major APAC data centre hub Read More »

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 …

The future NBN might look rather different Read More »

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, …

The importance of high-speed broadband in regional Australia Read More »

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 …

Upgrading the NBN with G.fast has its limitations Read More »

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 …

The end of the Foxtel wars Read More »

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 …

Various drivers are propelling Smart City developments Read More »

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” …

Smart Cities: Technologies, Challenges and Future Prospects Read More »

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 …

Australian National Broadband Network rollout finally gains momentum Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

Update on Singapore’s journey towards a smart nation Read More »

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 …

Telecoms infrastructure and digital technologies lead the way Read More »

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 …

Dutch Smart City Delegation back in Australia Read More »

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 …

The Australian Digital Media Industry Continues its Transformation Read More »

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 …

Consolidation in Australia’s VOD Market Begins Read More »

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 …

Smart Homes Read More »

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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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 …

Mobile infrastructure will ultimately rely on fibre broadband Read More »

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. …

Competitive global mobile market sees the rise of regional leaders Read More »

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 …

The Next Big Thing Read More »

Australia’s telco market grows slowly with mobile broadband driving growth

The overall telecoms services revenue reached over $42 billion in 2016, a growth of under 1% for the 12 months to June 2016. The overall market is predicted to grow at a stronger rate in 2017. The strongest growth is coming from the second tier providers, which grew at over 10% during that time period. …

Australia’s telco market grows slowly with mobile broadband driving growth Read More »

International expansion has strengthened the operations of many mobile operators

In 2017 the global mobile market has its sights firmly set on the opportunities offered through mobile data as well as looking for potential new revenues streams presented by the enterprise sector, data mining, 5G and international expansion. Mobile saturation has occurred in many of the developed markets and this has forced some of the …

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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 …

Australia progressing as a major APAC data centre hub Read More »

Will Telstra be able to create a more affordable alternative to the NBN

If we go back to the early days of the NBN, now more than a decade ago, some of you might recall that from the very first day we have maintained that affordability was more important than the latest technology. I actually said that affordability was THE most important element of an NBN. Subsequent governments …

Will Telstra be able to create a more affordable alternative to the NBN Read More »

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 …

Australia’s MNOs prepare for migration to 5G Read More »

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 …

Golden Ratio statues presented to five Australian smart city organisations Read More »

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone face increasing threat from 2nd Tier Market

The overall telecoms services revenue reached over $40 billion in 2016, a growth of 2.0% for the 12 months to June 2016. The overall market is predicted to grow more strongly in 2017. The strongest growth is coming from the second tier providers, which grew at over 10% during that time period. The market incumbent …

Telstra, Optus and Vodafone face increasing threat from 2nd Tier Market Read More »

Mobile roaming – does customer service matter to the mobile operators?

Since the ACCC indicated that it is again opening up its investigation into mobile roaming there has been a great deal of noise from the various telco players regarding the pros and cons of mobile roaming. However very little attention has been given to the more subtle underlying issues. While most the operators involved in …

Mobile roaming – does customer service matter to the mobile operators? Read More »

From DSL to FttN, G.FAST, Fttdp, XG-FAST – building the NBN the tortuous way

In September 2016, NBN Co indicated its interest in a technology known as XG.Fast, it is a next level up from the G.Fast technology they started to trial in 2015 and it also needs to be seen in the yet still bigger picture of Fttdp (fibre to the distribution point). The development and deployment of …

From DSL to FttN, G.FAST, Fttdp, XG-FAST – building the NBN the tortuous way Read More »

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, …

Flawed NBN structure undermines competition Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

The next development in wireless broadband Read More »

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 …

Australia’s MVNOs now accessing the world’s fastest LTE networks Read More »

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 …

Tesla doing a Google in the Australian electricity industry? Read More »

Vodafone New Zealand’s merger with Sky shows continuing pressure to provide a full suite of services

The merger was not approved by the New Zealand Regulator (6/2017). During the last decade there has been considerable merger and acquisition activity in the telecoms sector across global regions. Where these processes are not possible, for regulatory or commercial reasons, operators have found ways to share resources in a bid to provide improved services …

Vodafone New Zealand’s merger with Sky shows continuing pressure to provide a full suite of services Read More »

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 …

The complexity of multifunctional smart city projects Read More »

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 …

Pay TV market under increasing threat from Video Streaming market Read More »

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 …

The Apps and Entertainment market continues to evolve Read More »

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 …

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

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 …

The global streaming revolution is taking place Read More »

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 …

Is building FttH cheaper than upgrading the HFC networks? Read More »

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 …

VR demand set to grow, but little prospect for telcos Read More »

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 …

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

The end of our printed era – 1983-2015 Telecoms & Broadband Business Newsletter

After 32 years of publishing the monthly Telecommunications Newsletter in print, we have reached the end of our printed era. We were the first telecommunications newsletter to be printed in Australia but it will now only be available online, where it continues as a free weekly newsletter to some 4,000 customers, as well as a blog (2,000 …

The end of our printed era – 1983-2015 Telecoms & Broadband Business Newsletter Read More »