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5G the Hot Topic of the Annual CommsDay Summit 2019

29 April 2019
5G Hot Topic at 2019 CommsDay

The Cloudscene team was onsite at the 2019 CommsDay Summit held in Sydney, Australia. The annual event attracts 300+ attendees including key players in the market, such as Telstra, Optus, Spark, Huawei, Vodafone, and Australian Government departments and regulators.

While presentations focused on local issues, the insights were valuable for those looking to do business in the Australian and New Zealand market, or draw a comparison with 5G rollouts globally.

The industry focus was very much on two key issues: the 10 year anniversary of the National Broadband Network (NBN), Australia’s national wholesale open-access data network project, and the emerging adoption of 5G into Australia and New Zealand.

Telstra and Optus Talk 5G Investment

The two big players in Australian telecommunications, Telstra and Optus, both primarily addressed their progress on 5G and the regulatory or industry support needed for realizing the benefits.

Telstra CEO, Andy Penn, discussed the renewed reliance on the telecommunications network as 5G rolls out, and equated this to a ‘fourth industrial revolution’. With this in mind, he noted the current investment levels were unsustainable if the burden is on carriers alone, given the increasing demand for data.

In what is timely with the upcoming Australian Federal election, he called on policymakers to give carriers the freedom to choose their technology rather than be regulated into a single technology.      

Optus CEO, Allen Lew, discussed Optus’ willingness to partner with the NBN to offer access to their 5G network, with the view this could reduce the NBN Co capital expenditure, and also provide an upgrade solution for the National Broadband Network.

Lew said, “Now is the time to create the private sector-public sector partnership and capture all the resources available to us so that we can lift our game, deliver the potential and make sure that Australia as a country provides its citizens much, much better access.”

Spark New Zealand and Huawei Weigh in on 5G

While the first auction for 5G spectrum is not expected until 2020 in New Zealand, Spark New Zealand has invested “early and hard” in 5G according to Spark Network evolution tribe lead, Colin Brown.

The leading telco sees 5G as a key way to grow their wireless broadband for a market that demands uncapped plans.

As well as an innovation hub, Brown announced that Spark has signed an agreement with Emirates Team NZ to provide 5G connectivity for the 36th America’s Cup in Auckland.          

Chinese telecoms giant,  Huawei is looking into the future, with Huawei ANZ CTO, David Soldani, sharing his views on how 5G has the potential to revitalize telecommunications businesses.

“Today, carriers are especially focused, I think it’s about 70% of the business of the carriers globally, around connectivity, but we believe that it could expand by connecting the cloud network to the 5G system, as an interface and an application-enablement platform.”

Soldani added that the combined market of cloud-enabled computing and gaming would be worth some US$400 billion.

Whilst Huawei has its sights set on 5G, the company won’t be involved in the rollout in Australia after being excluded in 2018 from bidding due to cyber security concerns (read more). Huawei was also barred in 2012 from participating in the NBN project.

2019 Edison Award Winners

Cloudscene was the proud sponsor of the CommsDay Annual Dinner in which the Edison Awards were also announced.

Congratulations to all the award winners:

Category Winner
Best Telecom Marketing Initiative Netcomm Wireless
for 5G fixed wireless at Mobile World Congress
Best Telecom Law Firm Corrs Chambers & Wesgart
Best Fixed Wireless Operator Superloop
Best Cloud Provider Telstra
Best Telecom Vendor Ericsson
Best Virtual Network Operator (VNO) Superloop
Best IOT/ M2M provider NNN Co
Best Satellite Provider Optus
Best Fixed Broadband Provider Aussie Broadband
Best Mobile Operator Telstra

 

The highlight of the evening was the induction of Phillip Britt (Aussie Broadband) and Michael Malone (iiNet, NBN Co) into the Hall of Fame. Bevan Slattery, founder of Cloudscene, was inducted in 2017.

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