Telstra will discontinue the Pacnet brand after today announcing the completion of its $857 million takeover of the cable operator and telecommunications provider. Two days before Christmas last year Telstra revealed its intention to acquire the company and therefore gain access to Asia’s largest privately-owned submarine cable network. It today announced the deal had been completed after meeting the majority of conditions, regulatory and financier approvals.
Telstra will switch on 1500 additional hotspots as part of an extension to a trial of its proposed national wi-fi network before June, the telco announced today. Last May the telco revealed plans to spend more than $100 million to build a national wi-fi network before the end of 2015. The network is slated to include around 8000 Telstra-built hotspots (utilising the national payphone network) and a further 1.9 million wi-fi access points provided by its customers.
The law firm behind a series of class actions against Australia’s top three telcos over late payment fees has put the legal action on hold pending the outcome of a similar court battle against ANZ Bank. Steven Lewis, principal solicitor for ACA Lawyers, which intended to launch separate actions against Vodafone, Telstra and Optus, said the outcome of a late payment fee case against ANZ would influence its decision on whether to continue to pursue the carriers.
Telstra and NBN Co have settled a pricing dispute worth $200 million out of court after pulling out of scheduled court hearings this week. A Telstra spokesperson today confirmed the pair had reached a “commercial resolution” on when the consumer price index for payments covered by the 2011 definitive agreements should kick in. The difference between the dates at which NBN Co and Telstra argue the CPI should apply is worth around $200 million. The Telstra spokesperson declined to comment on how the issue had been resolved.
NBN Co and Telstra are attempting to resolve a disagreement over how much NBN Co should pay for access to Telstra’s pits, pipes, ducts and exchanges out of court. Last July Telstra won its case against NBN Co over when the consumer price index (CPI) for payments covered by the pair’s 2011, $9 billion definitive agreements should kick in. It had taken NBN Co to the NSW Supreme Court in late 2013, arguing that the CPI, which is refreshed each year in January, should apply for payments effective from January 1 2012, given that the NBN Co contract was signed in 2011.
NEC has won an $11 million contract to replace the ageing Telstra telephony systems running Victoria’s triple-zero call-taking service. The state’s Emergency Services Minister Jane Garrett announced the seven-year contract late last week. The signing represents an extra $2.5 million injection into the initiative, on top of the $8.5 million committed in the 2014 state budget.
Inference Solutions has appointed former Telstra group manager David Stone to the role of Asia Pacific vice president of sales. Stone was previously group manager for contact centre solutions sales for Telstra. His prior experience also includes management of UK-based emergency contact centres, executive management for a leading contact centre outsourcer, and sales Director for iTa (acquired by Nuance).
Telstra today further bolstered its portfolio of electronic health offerings with the acquisition of Medibank telehealth business Anywhere Healthcare. Telstra has been actively pushing into the ehealth space since teaming up with HCF and Healthways to offer telemonitoring of health devices in July last year, ahead of formally launching its standalone health division Telstra Health the following October. It has also previously partnered with Swiss provider Medgate to deliver ‘ReadyCare’, a telephone-based GP consultation service.
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.