Telstra had a strong presence at this year’s Australian National Field Days which included some innovative products and features targeted at farmers and rural communities.
With a focus on what they are doing in agri-tech, Telstra made a big impact at the field days.
“We have developed low bandwidth sensor enablers which run on a battery with a life of five years,” Telstra area general manager – northern region NSW, Michael Marom said.
“These sensor enablers allow a range of sensors, such as water monitoring or soil testing sensors, to connect to them.
“Then they will transmit back to a mobile network and come up on an app on a mobile phone or tablet.
“This will give growers and producers the analytics to help them improve their on-farm efficiencies.
“This is a national initiative which we are growing as part of value adding to our network as part of our expansion of Cat M1.
“Where our normal 4G network has a footprint of 2.5 million square kilometres, Cat M1 brings it up to 3 million square kilometres and in some cases extends it out to 3.5 million.
“It allows those low latency – low bandwidth sensors to operate in a much larger range.”
Telstra are proud of their long history in regional Australia and Mr Marom believes they are committed to continuing to develop initiatives to suit rural communities.
“We are proud of the fact we have spent around 15 per cent of our network expenditure on two per cent of the population,” he said.
“We cover 2.5 million square kilometres which is around 1 million square kilometres more than our nearest competitor.
“Essentially that is around the size of NSW plus 20 per cent more than our nearest competitor or around 4,000 kilometres of highway.
“So we are very proud of the investment that we have made.
“We will build over 600 of the 800 towers in the Blackspot Program in Rounds 1, 2 and 3.
“We are still actively participating in any other federal and state government initiatives to help increase mobile connectivity around Australia.
“Telstra is also very passionate about providing connectivity in those areas which may not fall into any type of investment strategy for a land-based backhaul network.
“We are investing in what we call satellite small cells, which are units which do not rely on any backhaul.
“As long as there is power, they will provide coverage anywhere from 500 metres to two kilo0metres depending upon topography.
“Users will get the same benefits as they would from a normal mobile network.”
“These will start covering areas that are far more remote and difficult to cover.
“They work on low-orbit satellites so the latency is greatly reduced, doing what a normal mobile phone network will do.”