Vodafone will re-allocate the 850MHz spectrum used for its 3G network to expand its 4G coverage, joining the race against Telstra and Optus as Australia’s biggest telcos look to beef up their 4G offerings. Vodafone today announced it would refarm the spectrum to speed up its 4G rollout in order to reach a target of 4G coverage across 95 percent of the country’s metropolitan population by the end of the year.
A four-year $490 million Government trial of the use of smart technologies in the energy sector has found the country could reap $28 billion in net economic benefits over the next 20 years if the devices were rolled out nationally. A report released yesterday by Industry Minister Ian Macfarlane – written by four local consultancy firms – analysed the results of the Smart Grid, Smart City project and found the use of such technologies could result in consumers paying hundreds of dollars less a year through reduced energy usage.
Employees of Australia’s national broadcaster will have a new suite of email and collaboration tools in the not-too-distant future, as the ABC looks to the cloud to replace Exchange 2007. The organisation of around 6000 workers will be forced to migrate off the Exchange email platform in the coming 12 to 18 months as the software reaches the end of its anticipated life span and as the business faces very public budget pressures.
NBN Co’s fibre-to-the-premise product will be ready for service in areas where internet service provider TPG is seen as posing a competitive threat from late September this year. NBN Co expects fibre-to-the-premise for apartment and office blocks to be ready for service by September 24 in six areas in which TPG is threatening to compete against the national broadband network, according to Telstra Wholesale’s NBN Co rollout schedule, updated today and confirmed by NBN Co.
There is an “urgent” need for mobile services in the Australian state government of Victoria according to 89% of IT officials in the region, an exclusive FutureGov survey has found. FutureGov polled the 130 regional CIOs and senior public officials who attended the FutureGov Forum, Victoria last week, and asked them “how important/urgent is your need for mobile solutions?” In response, 59% said “important/urgent” while a further 30% said “very important/urgent”. No-one said that it is “not important at all,” 6% said that it is “not important,” and 3% said that they were “neutral”.
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has signed a deal with Fujitsu to migrate 27,000 email accounts to the cloud, which will improve mobility of on-ground staff serving communities across the state. The Department of Family and Community Services, which supports disadvantaged individuals, families and communities, will migrate its email to Fujitsu’s pay-as-you-go cloud model. This “aligns well with the NSW Government strategy of consuming IT services”, said Albert Olley, Executive Director, Business Services Unit.
More than 460 existing Telstra roles, plus another 208 contractor roles, have been tagged for redundancy as the telco seeks cheaper labour with outsourced partners in India. The cuts represent 15 per cent of the 4100 staff employed in Telstra’s Global Services division, which delivers cloud computing and network application services for big-ticket corporate clients and government.
San Francisco-based IT company, Zendesk, is expanding its Asia-Pacific Development Centre into a new building in Melbourne to create capacity for an additional 100 work stations. Speaking at Zendesk’s Melbourne office in Bourke Street, Minister for Technology Gordon Rich-Phillips said, “Victoria’s very strong IT skills base, outstanding R&D capabilities and growing strengths in areas like Cloud computing and data analytics brought Zendesk here to expand its international software development team,” Rich-Phillips said.
NBN Co will provide a new satellite broadband service to up to 9000 premises in remote areas of mainland Australia to reach customers not covered by the over-subscribed Interim Satellite Service (ISS). The new NBN Co Satellite Support Scheme (NSS) will not be provided by the government-funded company. Instead, NBN Co has appointed IPStar to act as a wholesaler for regional internet providers. IPStar also provides satellites for the ISS. Reachnet and Active8me are participating in the NSS trial, with others expected to come onboard later, NBN Co said.
Telstra and Optus have secured early access to the 700MHz spectrum auctioned off by the Government last year, and will switch on the first 4G services in the band in a number of areas around the country over the coming weeks. The official launch of 700MHz spectrum, when technical trials are due to commence, is set for January 1 next year.
Within the next 15 years, Queenslanders could find their humble Go Card transformed into a loyalty card, a way of paying for bikes and taxis, or even phased out altogether in favour of a mobile phone or a simple fingerprint scan before boarding a train. The Queensland Government’s contract with current Go Card operator Cubic Transportation Systems is coming to an end, and the state’s transport department is scouring the market for new capabilities that have become available since Go Card went live in 2007.
Sydney Trains is in search of an IT system that will underpin an $11.4 million effort to improve the rail information delivered to customers as well as the performance of the city’s rail network. NSW Transport Minister Gladys Berejiklian last month announced a three-year project to upgrade the rail network’s operations centre, promising new technology and communications systems would offer train travellers more accurate, consistent and timely information.
The Federal Government has added the first four suppliers to its new data centre services panel following a revamp of its procurement arrangements. The finance department today named NextDC, Datapod, Canberra Data Centres and Australian Data Centres as the first batch of suppliers under the government’s new Data Centre Facilities Supplies Panel.
Submarine cable builder SubPartners will land its APX-West and APX-Central cables in NextDC’s Perth P1 data centre, the company revealed today. The 5300km APX-Central cable will connect Perth and Sydney from the third quarter of 2016, with additional spurs planned for Adelaide, Melbourne and Hobart. The 4700km APX-West will connect Perth to Changi North in Singapore with planned branches to Jakarta, Indonesia and Christmas Island.
Qantas chief information officer Luc Hennekens has laid the foundations to shift many of the airline’s IT workloads to public cloud services, after being impressed with the results of three proof of concept trials. The Qantas IT team spent an intensive 18 weeks trialling the capabilities of public cloud computing services offered by Amazon Web Services, Google, IBM and Microsoft to help build a case for a radically different approach to technology provision at the airline.
Identity management company, Centrify, has recruited channel specialist, Niall King, in a bid to expand its footprint in Australia, New Zealand and Asia Pacific. King’s appointment as senior director APAC sales will see the company place a stronger focus on North Asia. Centrify’s stronger push into Asia Pacific follows its May announcement that it had raised $42 million in funding from strategic investors including Samsung Ventures, Fortinet Inc. and Docomo Capital.
Travel booking titan Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) is making a big push for new users and revenue streams in Asia today with the A$703 million (US$659.5 million) acquisition of Australia-based Wotif Group (ASX:WTF). It runs a number of travel sites in the region, such as Wotif.com, Lastminute.com.au, Travel.com.au, LateStays, and GoDo.com.au (hat-tip to The Next Web). Wotif’s numerous sites will remain running under the auspices of US-based Expedia.
Japanese incumbent telco Nippon Telegraph and Telephone is reportedly lobbying Telstra for a partnership, amidst growing competition from Optus’ parent SingTel. In an article in the Australian Financial Review, NTT urges the Australian telco to use its global network of data centres, which would be connected to Telstra’s own networks. The news comes as Telstra repositions itself from being a traditional telecommunications company towards being a network applications and services (NAS) provider with a focus on south-east Asia.
The Australian Government is preparing an Open Data Toolkit to consolidate policies and guidance for agencies managing and sharing government data. “This Toolkit will consolidate policy, guidance, case studies and technical advice on how to manage, publish and share government data more effectively and efficiently for greater benefits to the public service, industry and the broader community. The Toolkit will be updated on a regular basis as new information, guidance, best practices and policies emerge, and you can subscribe to wiki updates there,” the data.gov.au team wrote in its latest blog.