Southern Cross Cables names new CEO

Southern Cross Cables has appointed Laurie Miller as its new President and CEO, effective 1  March, 2019.

“I am honoured to have been elected as Southern Cross’ next President and CEO,” said Miller. “It is a privilege to be part of an organisation that delivers high quality services and innovative solutions for its clients.

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Southern Cross Cables president and CEO Laurie Miller

“Southern Cross has a great culture, the broadest submarine cable capability in the market and a winning strategy that has enabled it to grow strongly,” said Miller.

“Building further on that success with Southern Cross NEXT is a challenge I accept with confidence and determination. I am passionately committed to placing our clients and staff at the absolute centre of everything we do to continue Southern Cross’ legacy of success.”

Miller succeeds Anthony Briscoe, who will retire from Southern Cross at the end of its fiscal year but will remain with the company in the interim, in a consultative role, to ensure a smooth transition.

“We very much appreciate Anthony’s efforts and his service to Southern Cross since his appointment nearly five years ago. Anthony has been . to Southern Cross successfully driving the Southern Cross NEXT project to its current point,” Southern Cross Cable Network Director David Havercroft said.

“We wish Anthony every regard in his retirement and well-earned break after years of significant contribution to both Southern Cross and the international telecommunications industry.”

Prior to his new role, Miller held key roles as Head of Wholesale and Interconnect at 2degrees Limited, and as President and Country Manager in Sparks’ former US operation Telecom New Zealand USA.

Miller has an extensive background in management and sales over a 27-year career in the International Telecommunications Industry, starting with Telecom New Zealand in 1991.

Huawei backs own trade compliance system but warns: ‘Road ahead long and hard’

Huawei global rotating chairman Ken Hu has said the company is very confident about its trade compliance system which has been running since 2007.

Speaking to press at Huawei’s new campus in  Dongguan, Hu touched on the recent arrest in Canada of CFO Meng Whanzou. “The company has confidence in the fairness and independence of the judicial systems in Canada and the US,” he said, adding that the firm’s business operations as well as its executives’ travel plans had not impacted.”

Hu was open to a question about building cyber security evaluation centres in places such as the US and Australia, pointing to centres in the UK, Canada and Germany as addressing and mitigating concerns.

“Huawei has subjected itself to the strictest reviews and screening by regulators and customers, while understanding concerns. However, no evidence indicated our equipment posed a security threat. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs in China had formally clarified that no law requires companies to install mandatory back doors. The company is open to concerns about its openness, transparency and independence as well as dialogue. Any proof or evidence could be shared with telecom operators, if not to Huawei or the public,” he said.

Expanding on Huawei’s 5G leadership drive, Hu said the company had secured 25 commercial contracts, shipping some 10,000 base stations already. “Almost all network customers have indicated they want Huawei, as the market leader with the best equipment for at least the next 12 to 18 months, for faster and more cost-effective upgrades to 5G,” he said.

Hu said some security concerns based on the technology for 5G were very legitimate, but able to be clarified or mitigated through collaboration with operators and governments. “Rare cases have arisen where some countries are hijacking 5G issues for groundless speculation based on ideological or geopolitical considerations,” he said.

“Other security concerns disingenuously raised as excuses to block market competition would slow adoption of new technology, increase costs for network deployment and raise prices for consumers. If Huawei could compete in the US for 5G deployment from 2017 to 2020 some US$20 billion of capital expenditure in wireless infrastructure would be saved, according to some economists,” Hu said. “The road ahead is long and hard, but we will keep moving and reach the destination, because we have already embarked on this journey.”


Melbourne strengthens position as tech capital: AIIA

The Victorian Government has announced that Melbourne will host the national headquarters of the Australian Information Industry Association (AIIA) – Australia’s peak representative body for the tech sector.
The AIIA said the establishment of its headquarters in Melbourne would boost opportunities for Victorian businesses to work together and advance the performance of local industries. The AIIA noted it will continue to have a strong national presence with local offices in Sydney and Canberra and state council activities in all states.
The Labor Government also announced that it will host the AIIA National iAwards events as the major sponsor for the next four years, cementing Victoria’s position as Australia’s tech capital.
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AIIA CEO Ron Gauci

“Melbourne is a great base for our national headquarters as we look to further enhance the reputation of Australia’s leading awards program for the technology industry and pursue our strategic imperatives of innovation, skills and digitisation of the economy,” said AIIA CEO Ron Gauci.

The National iAwards is the leading awards program for the technology industry, recognising and rewarding entries from startups, government, corporates and students from across the nation.
The AIIA National iAwards is the centrepiece of Victoria’s annual Digital Innovation Festival, celebrating the tech talent and ideas that help give Victoria our competitive edge.
Moving into its 26th year, the AIIA iAwards recognise Australia’s leading digital technology innovators. Nominations for the 2019 awards are already open, with early bird applications closing on 4 February.

Early spectrum access sees Telstra launching first 5G sites in Sydney, Melbourne

Telstra has switched on 5G for the first time at sites in Melbourne and Sydney, after it was given early access to the 3.6 GHz spectrum it won at auction last week.

With the upgrades at Telstra’s Customer Insight Centre at 400 George Street in Sydney, a mobile base station near Sydney Airport, Telstra Labs at 242 Exhibition Street in Melbourne – and with another mobile base station near Melbourne Airport slated to com online later by week’s end – the telco said it had now completed 187 5G upgrades across the country.

CEO Andrew Penn said Telstra now had 5G- enabled sites in all major cities across the country. “This is a crucial component of our plans to bring 5G services to as many of our customers as possible once 5G compatible devices are commercially available next year, and another significant milestone in expanding its 5G coverage to capital cities, regional centres and other high demand areas,” Penn said.

Last week Telstra secured between 30-80 MHz nationwide in the 3.6 GHz spectrum auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. Combined with existing holdings, Telstra now has 60 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in all major capital cities and between 50-80 MHz of contiguous 5G spectrum in regional areas.

Telstra is also the first operator to acquire an ‘early access’ licence from the ACMA for the 3.6 GHz spectrum sold in the auction, enabling it to turn on its first 5G sites in Sydney and Melbourne.

“5G is expected to completely transform the mobile landscape and Telstra will continue to lead and bring this technology to Australians first. This series of network upgrades is not only making Telstra’s mobile network 5G ready but is also expected to help deliver world leading 4G speeds.” Penn added. “Over the coming months Telstra will continue expanding its 5G coverage with plans to roll out the technology and grow coverage to more cities, regional centres and high traffic areas.”


Melbourne’s IXOM ups digital transformation with BT’s SD-WAN, cyber security services

By Telecom Times Contributing Editor Sevdalina Uzunova

Melbourne-based water treatment firm IXOM is stepping up its digital transformation push, with BT rolling out a suite of managed software-defined wide area networking (SD-WAN) and cyber security  services.

As part of the deal, BT will deploy a new generation of network technology, enabling IXOM to shift applications and data to the cloud, and boosting agility, efficiency and innovation across its operations.

“We are creating a resilient and agile technology environment to support our cloud applications and services,” said Rowan Start, head of IT for IXOM. “It will come with the ability to detect and respond to cyber threats in near real time.”

According to the UK telco, its BT Agile service will provide IXOM with a faster, simpler and more secure way of setting up new sites by utilizing a deeper understanding of network infrastructure and traffic flows as well as improved control.

Agile Connect uses software-defined networking (SDN) on a national or global scale to dynamically determine the most effective route for traffic to take across a customer’s wide area network.

“Its dynamic routing allows organisations to meet bandwidth demand by making it  easier to introduce new access services to their network or by making better use of what previously were back-up connections,” BT said. “It also ensures that traffic from high-priority business applications always takes the best performing route.”

In addition, BT will deliver a 24/7 global cyber threat detection, investigation and response service designed to help protect IXOM from rapidly evolving threats. Based on a key security information and event management (SIEM) platform, along with a raft of dedicated cyber analyst services, BT will provide the offering from its Australian Cyber Security Operation Centre.


Hughes Network Systems expands satellite internet service into Ecuador

US-based broadband satellite network specialist Hughes Network Systems has expanded its high-speed satellite Internet service, HughesNet, into Ecuador –  a market where 61 percent of residents in rural areas don’t have internet access.

The firm said that operating over the Hughes 63 West High-Throughput Satellite (HTS) payload, its broadband coverage now reaches more than 90 percent of homes throughout Ecuador, including  areas unserved or underserved by terrestrial providers.

“We are committed to bringing affordable Internet service to people and businesses everywhere in the world to help promote education, social well-being and economic development,” said Pradman Kaul, president of Hughes. “Following on our successful launch of HughesNet service in Brazil, Colombia and Peru, we take pride in bringing our signature high-speed satellite Internet to Ecuador to help connect the unconnected and bridge the digital divide.”

Hughes Networks Systems said that to date, some 1.3 million consumer and business subscribers in the Americas have signed up to its  HughesNet high-speed internet service. “Service plans offered in Ecuador come with built-in Wi-Fi and include speeds of up to 50 Mbps download / 5 Mbps upload,” it added.

“This next step in Ecuador continues our strategy to expand HughesNet service across the Americas” said Vinod Jain, vice president International at Hughes. “Ecuador is an important and growing market, and we intend to bring consumers and businesses attractive pricing plans with fast and reliable service— enabling them to do more online, including email, shopping, downloading music and video, using social media or just browsing the web.”

HughesNet is powered by the latest generation of the Hughes JUPITER System, which employs the DVB-S2X standard for highly efficient use of satellite bandwidth. The JUPITER System supports a wide range of applications, including broadband Internet/ Intranet access, to community Wi-Fi hotspots, cellular backhaul, digital signage and mobility, including airborne services.

Telstra, Lexus showcase Australia’s first mobile V2X tech: Håkan Eriksson

By Telstra CTO Håkan Eriksson

In partnership with Lexus Australia, we’re about to start testing new life-saving communication technologies in cars on Victorian roads.

Powered by our 4GX network, the trials will test and demonstrate Australian-first Cellular V2X technology and advanced driver assist features to create a safer driving experience.

Technology has always been a catalyst for substantially improved driver safety.

From the introduction of seat belts and ABS to more recent advances in radar and sensing technology, technology innovations over the last half century have reduced both the regularity and severity of road crashes. I’m very pleased to announce that we, along with Lexus Australia, have been awarded grant funding under the Victorian Government’s Towards Zero program to trial a deployment of advanced communications technology in Victoria.

The project is called Advanced Connected Vehicles Victoria, or ACV2. You can read more about the grant program on the Victorian Government website.

What are we trialling?

Telstra and Lexus Australia will trial connected vehicle safety systems including emergency braking alerts, in-vehicle speed limit compliance warnings, right-turn assist for vulnerable road users and warnings when surrounding vehicles are likely to violate a red light.

The trial will deploy two Lexus vehicles equipped with Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) technology.

For instance, if a trial vehicle ahead performs an emergency brake, it will send this message to a V2X-equipped car following — potentially before a forward collision radar or driver notices the event. In these situations, mere milliseconds can make a huge difference.

We’ll also be investigating other applications, such as how to securely send speed zone, traffic light timing, and other signals to cars so all this information can be available just-in-time and help prevent road trauma.

What is Cellular V2X technology?

Cellular Vehicle-to-Everything (C-V2X) is technology that lets cars talk to each other, and the environment around them, via our 4G mobile network and via direct short-range wireless links. The ‘environment’ around the car could be other cars and trucks, traffic lights, roadworks or even pedestrians and cyclists.


Previous trials in Australia have used Wi-Fi-like 802.11p technology for short range communications. This trial will be the first in Australia to make use of the very latest short-range 5.9 GHz radios based on advanced 4G Cellular V2X technology — with a pathway and compatibility to future 5G solutions too.

What if there’s no 4G coverage?

While a huge proportion of Victorian roads already have reliable mobile coverage, it’s not everywhere. However, the strength of Cellular V2X technology is that it combines both short range radios (which allows vehicles to communicate directly with one another using cellular technology, but without going via a cellular network) and wide-area 4G-based mobile communications when available. So, even in the case that there’s no mobile coverage, the most urgent safety messages will still get through and help to save lives.

How are we involved?

As Australia moves towards a society of automated vehicles, we are investing in developing cooperative intelligent transport technologies that will make road users safer by helping cars communicate with the things around them.

The strength of our 4G network and future 5G network will allow faster adoption of technologies such as this – ultimately helping make our roads a safer place. We will be creating a high-performance specialised link on our mobile network, so the Lexus vehicles can communicate with each other safely and reliably, even when beyond the distance of short-range radio.

This is the kind of “network slice” that will be commonly used in 5G to support a huge variety of applications with different performance requirements. We will also be testing a specialised vehicle cloud, which coordinates messages between vehicles and connects them to services nearby, based on technology from our 5G network partner Ericsson.

Well before autonomous vehicles are commonplace, communications technology is set to create an even safer experience. We’re really excited to be pioneering this technology in Australia.

  • This article first appeared here.