TELSTRA’S MURU-D FLAGS NEW SYDNEY COHORT, NEW ENTREPRENEUR IN RESIDENCE

Muru-D, the startup accelerator backed by Telstra, has unveiled its new SYD6 cohort, with ideas developed including the future of local workforce optimisation, farm connectivity, prevention of work stress, and personal loan financing.

The ten successful applicants, selected from a field of nearly two hundred, are aiming to deliver innovative and simple product experiences for customers through next gen data platforms, predictive AI, IoT, fintech and WiFi networks.

Each startup will receive $75,000 in seed capital investment and over the course of the six-month program have access to a highly developed network of mentors and industry professionals to help accelerate their businesses to the next stage.

Unlike other accelerators, muru-D tailors the program according to the requirements of the founders in each cohort. This means each founding team can extract maximum value from their time at muru-D. Over the past five years, muru-D has accelerated over 140 startups– one of the largest startup accelerator portfolios in Australia – and has created hundreds of jobs.

SYD6’s newest Entrepreneur in Residence is startup industry veteran, Alan Jones has founded several startups, mentored hundreds of founders, and is an active investor in the startup ecosystem. He has been involved in the selection of SYD6 and will work closely with the founders to help them to grow their businesses and get them investment-ready.

“I’ve worked with many of Australia’s best-known startup accelerators but it’s long been an ambition of mine to serve as an entrepreneur-in-residence for a muru-D program. I’m stoked at the strength of the teams in this year’s SYD6 cohort; I’m looking forward to bringing my 20+ years of tech startup experience as a founder, angel investor and accelerator mentor to the program,” Jones said.

CISCO, NBN CO JOIN FORCES IN SMB PUSH

Cisco and NBN Co have struck an exclusive agreement to drive and speed up the capability for Small to Medium Businesses (SMB) to connect to business NBN, a well as a raft of access technology services that could help support their digital transformation.

“Digitally enabling the Small Business workforce is imperative for Australia to grow and be more competitive,” said Cisco ANZ VP Ken Boal. “There are clear opportunities for RSP’s and ICT Channel partners to build offers and digital solutions for eligible SMBs which can be bundled with NBN services and help them realise the potential of digital enablement.”

This forms the first investment announcement as part of Cisco’s Country Digital Acceleration (CDA) program announced last week, aimed at helping to drive Australia’s inclusive economic growth.

“Small business plays a crucial role as the backbone of our Australian economy and represents a fast growing IT market. We’re not just helping to connect eligible SMB’s to business NBN, we are helping to transform SMBs digitally whilst connecting, simply and more securely,” said Boal.

There are now more than half a million businesses connected to the NBN access network and connecting at a rate of around 20,000 new businesses each month. This represents a huge opportunity for many businesses to benefit from the collaboration.

The San Francisco based firm emphasised that Australian SMB’s will be faced with a disconnection reality, and added that with business NBN services now widely available across NBN Co’s fixed line network, it is now key “to ensure that an eligible small business who might be on a consumer grade connection, can connect to a retail plan.”

“With almost three in four businesses now able to connect to the NBN access network there is an enormous opportunity to educate the market. We encourage businesses to speak to their providers to see if tapping in to the network with business NBN could help them streamline operations, leverage
state-of-the-art applications and potentially increase their bottom line,” said NBN Co CEO Stephen Rue.

“We have focused our efforts on building a wholesale product and service suite that service providers can tailor to deliver for the needs of Australian businesses. This includes high and symmetrical download and upload speeds designed to support critical video and data applications, optimised voice services and optional premium service levels to support retailers to keep businesses up and running,” he added.

New SMB-focused capabilities include:
• Transforming the SMB’s customer experience and adoption of technology
to help SMB’s communicate and collaborate with their customers.
• Productive and effective decision making, greater flexibility and cost
savings.
• Access applications faster, moving to and from the Cloud.
• New innovation capability and scale to global markets.

Cisco said this CDA investment will focus on educating and building awareness with SMB’s around the opportunity to more securely connect and access business and enterprise grade technology that Retail Service Providers (RSP) or ICT Channel Partners can bundle and deliver to the market.

In addition, there will be joint go-to-market and digital marketing activities to help share how SMB’s can potentially digitally transform their business leveraging business grade services from NBN.

 

JUNIPER TO ‘BRING AI TO IT’ WITH ACQUISITION OF MIST SYSTEMS

Juniper Networks has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Mist Systems, a pioneer in cloud-managed wireless networks powered by Artificial Intelligence (AI). The deal will enhance Juniper’s enterprise networking portfolio by combining Mist’s next-generation Wireless LAN (WLAN) platform with Juniper’s best-in-class wired LAN, SD-WAN and security solutions to deliver unsurpassed end-to-end user and IT experiences.

Under the terms of the agreement, Juniper Networks will acquire Mist for aggregate consideration of $405 million, subject to adjustment, payable in cash and the assumption of outstanding equity awards. The proposed acquisition is expected to close in Juniper Networks’ fiscal second quarter, subject to regulatory approvals and customary closing conditions. It is expected to be slightly dilutive to FY’19 Non-GAAP EPS and slightly accretive to Non-GAAP EPS in FY’20.

Mist has built the world’s first AI-driven wireless platform, which makes Wi-Fi more predictable, reliable and measurable. Mist has also developed the networking industry’s only AI-driven virtual assistant, Marvis, to simplify wireless troubleshooting and provide unprecedented insight into client and network behaviour. In addition, Mist uses patented virtual Bluetooth® LE technology in conjunction with Wi-Fi and IoT to deliver scalable and cost-effective location-based wireless services to customers, such as indoor wayfinding, proximity notifications, traffic analytics and asset tracking. All operations are managed via Mist’s modern cloud microservices architecture for maximum scalability, agility and performance. As a result, Mist is quickly becoming the WLAN standard for enterprise customers across numerous industries, including two of the Fortune 10, seven of the top 40 retailers, the flagship facility at the US’s largest healthcare system, one of the top mobile carriers and one of the world’s largest airlines.

The acquisition will expand Juniper’s presence in the rapidly growing cloud-managed segment of the wireless networking market. Further, the deal enables Juniper to extend cloud-based management and end-to-end AI-driven visibility (“AI for IT”) across the end-to-end enterprise network (from access to the WAN) to offer an industry-leading, software-defined and highly differentiated solution for simplifying operations, improving user experience and lowering total cost of ownership (TCO).

“Mist Systems is a great fit for Juniper and for our enterprise customers,” explained Rami Rahim, CEO of Juniper Networks. “Juniper and Mist share a common strategic goal. We believe in the Software-Defined Enterprise and Mist’s focus on bringing AI to IT is consistent with our core belief that we need to simplify operations and improve customer experience while lowering costs. With Mist, we are adding a market leading solution to complement our portfolio, drive the cloud transition within the enterprise and accelerate our enterprise growth.”

“Mist Systems has developed a unique blend of wireless, AI and cloud expertise that has enabled us to stand out from the competition and bring much needed innovation to the wireless space,” said Sujai Hajela, CEO of Mist Systems. “By combining these proficiencies with Juniper’s expansive channel reach, world-class support and best-in-class networking and security products, we believe we will be well poised to change the IT landscape by ushering in a new generation of AI-driven products.”

“The joint Mist and Juniper solution delivers excellent visibility into the entire wired/wireless stack and uniquely leverages AI for proactive automation, making it a perfect fit for our campus environment,” said Mitch Davis, Vice President and CIO at Dartmouth College. “I am excited to see these two best-of-breed solutions tightly aligned and I look forward to seeing even more integration and innovation going forward, as it is key to our mission of delivering world-class IT experiences to our students, faculty, staff and guests.”

 

AIIA URGES GOVT TO CO-DESIGN CONSUMER DATA RIGHTS WITH CONSUMERS

The Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA), the peak member body for the ICT industry, is calling for the Government to work with industry and consumers to co-design the proposed Consumer Data Rights (CDR) regulatory framework before its phased implementation from 1 July 2019.
The CDR Bill 2019 is designed to create an extensive regulatory framework for the sharing of consumer data across industry sectors and was introduced into House of Representatives in February. It was immediately referred by the Senate to its Economics and Legislation Committee for inquiry and a report, due by 18 March 2019.
Commenting on the proposed CDR Bill, AIIA CEO Ron Gauci said: “AIIA members support the establishment of a CDR regulatory framework that protects consumer data while fostering innovation in the telecommunications sector. However, AIIA members do not support the imposition of a CDR ‘template’ that is developed to suit the characteristics of the banking and energy sectors. Our members are clear of the need for a telecommunications specific template.
“There is a real risk that inadequate stakeholder engagement and rushed implementation will result in an ambiguous and complex CDR regulatory framework. This could potentially create an unnecessary and onerous compliance burden for the different industry sectors and alienate consumers.
“The CDR initiative is just one example of where Government legislation and regulatory frameworks struggle to keep pace with technology-led business change and innovation. Therefore, we urge the Government, consumers and the telecommunication industry to work together to co-design a clear and trusted CDR regulatory framework.”
The AIIA recommends:
• The implementation of the CDR regulatory framework should include iterative review points.
• Data collected and lessons learnt from the review points should be incorporated into the regulatory frameworks for the energy and telecommunications sectors of the economy.
• These reviews should include consideration of technological advancements and the adequacy of existing regulatory frameworks that already apply to the telecommunication sector.
AIIA has made two previous joint submissions to Government on the CDR regulatory framework in September and October 2018. The issues raised in these joint submissions by AIIA and Communications Alliance members remain current.
The Bill is due to be debated in Parliament during its 2 April 2019 sitting days. The Bill, if successfully enacted, is due to come into effect from 1 July 2019.

OPTUS FLICKS SWITCH ON MOBILE BLACK SPOT SITE IN WYNARKA SA

Optus has switched on a new mobile site in Wynarka, South Australia as part of round two of the Australian Federal Government’s Mobile Black Spot Program, providing residents and visitors to the area with dedicated Optus mobile coverage for the first time.

The new site located on Moorlands Road, Wynarka was co-funded by Optus and the Federal Government and will provide mobile coverage across 129 square kilometres, reaching over 100 households in the area. Additionally, the site will enhance reception along over 150 kilometres of road, between Tailem Bend and Karoonda.

Andrew Sheridan, Vice President of Regulatory and Government Affairs highlighted the importance of the Program in providing coverage to people living in remote and rural parts of Australia.

“The ability to make and receive calls and browse the internet is something that we believe all Australians should have access to. Access to mobile coverage brings a range of benefits to these communities, beyond being able to make calls it enables them to browse the internet and use the latest in-home technology, which is at the centre of the modern, connected way of life,” said Mr Sheridan.

Wynarka is the eleventh Federal Government Mobile Black Spot site to be delivered by Optus in South Australia.  Two additional sites, at Yahl and Blanchetown have also been delivered directly with the South Australian Government.

“Seeing the benefit that this program has brought to so many rural and remote Australian communities only serves to strengthen our commitment to continue to offer residents in these parts of Australia with a great value, reliable mobile service,” added Mr Sheridan.

The Minister for Regional Services, Senator the Hon Bridget McKenzie, also welcomed Optus’ announcement: “The Mobile Blackspot Programme is delivering much needed new investment in mobile infrastructure across regional Australia to address mobile coverage issues. It’s fantastic to see that the program is reaching more and more communities across the country, like Wynarka. The Mobile Black Spot Program is enabling mobile carriers to service areas like Wynarka where it would otherwise not have been economically viable,” the Minister said.

Member for Barker Tony Pasin said improving Mobile Phone Coverage in Australia’s rural, regional, remote areas had been a key priority for the Coalition Government.

“We recognise the vital importance of mobile phone coverage to people living, working and travelling in regional and remote parts of the country.

“Reliable and effective mobile communications is a key driver of the enormous contribution that our regions make to Australia’s economic growth.

“I’m lobbying within Government for a rolling Mobile Blackspot Program so we can continue to improve telecommunications in more areas of need,” Mr Pasin said.

ABOUT THE MOBILE BLACK SPOT PROGRAM

NOKIA POWERS AHEAD WITH FULL 5G SUITE

Nokia has used MWC in Barcelona as an opportunity to introduce a gamut of 5G offerings, including one to help build out its existing partnership with Australian telco Optus.

The Finnish multinational and Optus will launch 50 live 5G sites by March 2019 for selected residential customers in Australia, with five locations already live. This will see Optus become the first operator globally to deploy Nokia’s FastMile 5G indoor gateway in a live network.

According to Nokia, the technology will allow Optus to achieve twice the indoor coverage, three times the downlink capacity and five times the uplink capacity compared to traditional gateways on its 3.5 GHz 60 MHz band, which means users will be able to simultaneously stream multiple 4K video services.

Nokia President and CEO said 2019 will be the year of 5G for the company.

“We are rearkably well-positioned with more than 20 5G contracts, and almost 100 5G engagements with customers in every region of the world,” he said.

“We also believe that there will be a virtuous circle of investment as networks are upgraded to meet the demands of 5G and Nokia has the right portfolio at the right time to meet that need.”

Nokia has also signed a Memorandum of Understanding with Korea Telecom (KT) to trial various 5G technologies, including service automation, network virtualisation and slicing, that will be used to help develop new applications for connected vehicles and the Internet of Things use cases. Trials are planned to take place in Seoul later this year.

5G trials are also taking place in India. Indian-based telco giant Bharti Airtel announced it will trial Nokia’s homogenous fronthaul solution to help support its 4G, 5G and enterprise services.

In a move to further ramp up its 5G portfolio, Nokia has introduced two new additions to its AirScale small cells portfolio – a millimetre wave radio and a 5G pico remote radio head – to extend the 5G performance indoor and outdoor, respectively.

 

ATTENDANCE UPDATE

Update:

in the last day before the Editor managed to escape his beloved Barcelona with at least his life intact, two more attempts to liberate him from his possessions could have eventuated. One by a hapless no-hoper who caught on that i had clocked him.

The final one almost happened just outside the little graffiti-clad chapel or church just opposite El Prat Station. This one, however, did  have far better production values. Fed up to the gills and close to calling it quits (apologies for such emotional bluntness but once you perceive the limited odds afforded you by the card you’ve dealt, it becomes very easy to discard the usual niceties, discretion etc. – in other words the small stuff does not get perspirated at all anymore and one focuses on the big picture, which in turn, in my case keep getting bigger and bigger.

to be continued

Following the evasion of Action Pick pocket Numero 3, our systems are coming online as we speak thanks in no small part to our new brand sponsor El Corte Ingles Bargain Bin del PC plastic.

Hoping for normal service to be resumed manana..

More updates to follow.

@telecom_times

PS now available one plastic paperweight, laptop shaped.

No time wasters….