Australia’s largest telco Telstra has pleged to keep the metadata it is required to store on its customers for two years safe after the data retention scheme passed the Senate last night. The Government and the Labor Party united last night to vote through the Coalition’s data retention bill, despite a last-ditch effort by the Greens and several independents to make changes to the bill.
The federal government is seeking to remove any perceived or actual advantage to Telstra as a result of the information it receives from NBN Co on the network rollout. Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull has asked the ACCC to consult with industry on a proposed carrier license condition for NBN Co which would govern the way it provides rollout information to Telstra and retail service providers (RSPs).
Telstra has revealed it has run out of IPv4 internet addresses, prompting warnings that its use of network addressing translation could impact the carrier’s ability to accurately collect customer metadata for the Government’s proposed data retention scheme. Carriers worldwide are being urged to move to the new IPv6 addressing system, which was created to overcome limitations to the quickly dwindling IPv4 address supply. IPv6 can create a theoretically inexhaustible supply of addresses, but it is not interoperable with the older IPv4 protocol.
Mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) will have access to Telstra’s 4G service by June next year, but may not be able to provide full-speed downloads to customers initially. Telstra yesterday said it was developing a wholesale proposition for its 4G network that will use all its 4G spectrum. This includes the 700MHz spectrum as well as the 1800 and 2600MHz frequency bands, which cover 90 percent of the nation.
Australia mobile customers get some of the best 4G LTE coverage in the world but are receiving less than impressive data speeds, large-scale user research shows. Data from 11 million users across 76 countries collected by wireless coverage mapping company OpenSignal during November 2014 and January 2015 showed Spain now leads the data speeds field, with 18 megabits per second on average.
When Telstra’s managed data centre general manager Jon Curry first outlined his master plan for a revamped data centre campus at Clayton in Victoria two years ago, he’d already learned a thing or two about design and construction. Two years on, and with the modernisation and expansion works complete, he has a couple of key learnings to add.
Sixteen chief executives from Australia’s top phone and internet providers have banded together to demand the Government come clean on how much it plans to contribute towards the cost of its data retention scheme. The telco CEOs today penned a letter to Attorney-General George Brandis and Communications Minister Malcolm Turnbull to demand transparency on the funding allocation ahead of the planned debate of the proposed legislation in the House of Representatives tomorrow.
NBN Co is set to conduct construction trials designed to speed up the rollout of the National Broadband Network. The trials will be held across four NSW and Queensland suburbs. These includes Emu Plains, Redcliffe, Slacks Creek and Merrimac. The homes and businesses potentially included in the trial are among the more than three million premises that sit inside the Hybrid Fibre Coaxial (HFC) cable footprint currently owned by Optus and Telstra.
Telstra is hoping to add new ‘regions’ for the OpenStack-based public cloud service it hosts as part of the Cisco Intercloud network, flagging a future presence for the service in a second Melbourne data centre and potentially in Sydney. The telco signed a deal in April 2014 for Cisco to build and operate a cloud computing service from inside Telstra data centres. The service runs on Cisco hardware and RedHat’s supported version of OpenStack.
More than 700,000 individuals have taken part in Telstra’s $100 million public wi-fi network trial since its launch in November, the carrier has revealed. In the same period, the network – which currently consists of over 1000 hotspots – has been used to transmit over 140 terabytes of data, Telstra told iTnews. Telstra has been running the trial at selected sites in major capital CBDs as a free service, but it will start imposing charges to access the network after its commercial launch later this year.
Telstra will allow its customers to access the metadata the telco stores on them for a fee ranging upwards from $25. Telstra’s announcement follows a recommendation made last Friday by the parliamentary committee tasked with investigating the Government’s data retention scheme. In the committee’s final report on the data retention bill last week, it said individuals should be able to access their own metadata retained under the scheme.
Ikea and 7-Eleven are amongst the brand names to benefit from a wide-ranging, multi-million dollar technology tie-up with Telstra. Telstra inked a deal with Dairy Farm Group which has more than 100,000 employees and 5800 stores and franchises across Asia, including the furniture giant and convenience store chain. Australia’s largest telco will manage the storage, physical security, maintenance and connectivity of Dairy Farm’s new SAP suite. SAP applications consists of payroll, human resources and financials, among others.
Telstra will partner with its long-term equipment supplier Ericsson to define 5G technology in an effort to launch the network for commercial use in 2020. The technology will eventually replace the 4G networks that are currently being rolled out by Australia’s telcos with faster mobile internet and less power consumption. The standards for 5G however have not yet been fully defined. Telstra and Ericsson will work over the next five years to cement the standards, while also performing field and lab-based testing, the telco said.
Telstra will build 22 new mobile phone towers across regional Western Australia after the state government announced it would invest $45 million into boosting mobile coverage. The funding will cover the construction of 85 mobile phone towers overall, starting next month, which is scheduled for completion by the end of 2018.
David Thodey will relinquish the top job at Telstra in May after six years in the role, revealing plans to retire today. He will be replaced by Telstra’s current chief financial officer, Andrew Penn. Penn will be based in Melbourne. Thodey will briefly stay on at Telstra following his retirement on May 1 to assist Penn’s transition to the CEO role. He will completely exit the telco in “late August”, according to a financial filing.
Seen by many as the next in line for the throne at Telstra, Andy Penn now takes on the top job with expectations that his wealth of experience, importantly in Asia, will help Australia’s largest telecommunications provider take on the challenges of the world’s most populous region. Mr Penn will take over as chief executive of Telstra on May 1, and will be helped by David Thodey until he leaves the company in August. Mr Thodey has helped Telstra cement its market leading position and lift shares from all-time lows to 14-year highs.
Telstra is previewing its first public API via a new beta developer portal, the first step towards what it hopes will become a library of public APIs. The SMS API, launched at the APIDays conference in Sydney yesterday, “sends SMS messages to Australian mobile phones in a single request”, according to developer documentation. “This API allows you to send and receive messages. You can also query the status of a previously sent SMS message,” the documentation states.
NEXTDC is examining options to use the roof space of neighbouring buildings to run solar arrays in what would be a major expansion of its renewable energy strategy. Chief operating officer Simon Cooper told iTnews the data centre operator was considering its options to bring solar power to Sydney and Perth. Although both facilities enjoy more hours of sunlight than Melbourne, the buildings have considerably less roof space than M1 in Melbourne, which hosts a 401kW array on its roof.
Telstra has informed employees at one of its Ballarat offices that half the workforce will be let go by April. The telco confirmed 64 of the 128 staff employed at the Gillies St office were yesterday told their jobs would no longer be needed. The restructure was first reported by The Courier. Telstra said the job cuts were aimed at reducing duplication of roles rather than cutting costs.
Australia’s largest telco Telstra has refused to disclose how much it expects the Government’s data retention scheme will cost to implement, claiming the figure as commercial-in-confidence. The telco refused to budge under sustained questioning by Labor MP Mark Dreyfus on the cost of the scheme today as part of hearings into the Government’s proposed data retention legislation today.