TelSoc is a multidisciplinary society whose aim is to promote knowledge, understanding and excellence in telecommunications and its applications including the digital economy. There are regular networking activities and lectures in all states of Australia plus two keynote orations each year. TelSoc also publishes the Australian Journal of Telecommunications and the Digital Economy.

Financial members can attend events at little or no charge plus have free access to the Journal. There is also a student membership category at a substantial discount from full membership.

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It is with the best of intentions that Australia embarked on a program of privatisation that commenced in the 1970s and continues today. It is timely that Emeritus Professor Tevor Barr has authored a novel that was inspired by real events during the privatisation of Australian Government telecommunications assets. The aptly named and newly privatised Telco One has recruited a chief executive officer from New York and the business culture transition begins. Decades after the events described in Professor Barr’s Grand Intentions the Australian telecommunications market remains in a state of constant flux with successive Governments failing to put in place a balanced, fair and open competitive market that would justify the privatisation program. 

The National Broadband Network is a focus of the June 2016 issue with four papers providing an insight into the nation’s largest infrastructure project. A historical paper on vibration measurement highlights how times have changed as the telecommunications networks evolve The Government’s review of the Universal Service Obligation has commenced with the Productivity Commission being tasked to inquire into how the universal service obligation might be updated to meet current and future needs.

Australia is facing numerous challenges in its attempt to upgrade its telecom infrastructure. This paper summarises the little-known and even less understood history of telecom development in the USA. The authors believe this may provide useful ideas for Australian telecom policy and development that have not yet been considered. 

The conflict over the frequency arrangements and out-of-band emissions of the mobile terminals below 694 MHz has revealed the tendency of countries in Regions 1 and 2 to align themselves with Region 3 to lower the cost of end-user equipment. This has highlighted that global harmonisation is at the heart of modern spectrum policy. The decision-making procedures are based upon consensus with the possibility of few countries blocking the discussion. There is a need to revise the current ITU-R structure of three regions as convergence is emerging between them. In this era of globalisation, it is not beneficial for a country or a group of countries to act separately from the rest of the world.

The public ombudsman plays an irreplaceable role as an important redress mechanism for individual grievances and as a “watch dog” to administrative justice. By analysing the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) as a case study, this article seeks to examine the nature of the private sector ombudsmen and its changing position in relation to administrative justice. This article argues that the current TIO scheme presents an inappropriate and unreliable situation where the private sector ombudsmen may provide differing rights and remedies from those available in the Courts. An authoritative and standardised quality control assurance mechanism should be established to ensure that consumer complaints are effectively received and fairly handled. 

This paper analyses the value of FTTN and FTTP along financial and non-financial dimensions. It reports on an open, public, dynamic ‘value model’ of FTTN and FTTP, and showcases two visual tools to enable assessment of their multiple, competing, emerging and slippery ‘value dimensions’. The paper reports and compares empirically-derived FTTN and FTTP value dimensions from recent Ministerial Speeches at CommsDay Summit 2016 and Government expert reports with the value model. 

Telecom's directory publishing business produced the White and Yellow Pages directories from 1975 to 1991. In 1976 the directory publishing business was in a crisis; it ranked in the top three of Telecom's public relations problems, was operating at a loss which would rapidly increase, and was becoming untenable. Over the next 15 years the publishing business was transformed to become the most profitable and innovative business in Telecom. This is the story of that transformation.

On 22 June 2016, Mike Quigley, the founding CEO of NBN Co, gave an address to TelSoc on his insights into, and predictions for, the Australian National Broadband Network (NBN).  This article provides a brief summary of his presentation and a commentary on some of the issues raised. 

The requirements for 5G are increased download speeds, the need to deal with increased cell density, increased bandwidth efficiency and availability of new bandwidth. 5G is likely to make use of spectrum in the millimetre range, beam-forming antenna arrays, massive Multi-Input Multi-Output, and fundamental changes to base station design. In this paper the key drivers for 5G are discussed including the very large numbers of devices in cells, the need to make available new spectrum, energy efficient ways of implementing base station capabilities, standards developments so far and 5G related issues for Australia.

The NBN rollout is several years into the project; a recently released report from the ACCC has given insights into the wholesale market and initial market indicators show that the market is becoming less competitive. This paper examines the costs of interconnecting with the NBN and demonstrates why the NBN has not achieved its goal of providing a level playing field for all telecommunication companies. By looking at the true cost of providing NBN services to NBN users, it is shown that the NBN pricing model is flawed and will affect the quality of service being provided to Australians. 

This paper considers the social practices of 3D printing by comparing consumer perspectives and practices with legal scholarship on intellectual property regimes. The paper draws on data gained through a mixed-methods approach involving participant observation, focus groups, and social network analysis of 3D printing file-sharing practices. It finds that while consumers display a level of naivety about their 3D printing rights and responsibilities as individuals, they possess a latent understanding about broader digital economies that guide their practices.

Grand Intentions by Trevor Barr is an exciting read that involves many themes and works at many levels.  It concerns a fictitious telephone company, Telco One, which is undergoing major change as the Government privatises it.  Telco One is in the throes of moving from a traditional culture based on public sector, even public service, values to a commercial entity subject to the overwhelming imperative of shareholder value.  The twists and turns as Telco One transforms from its previous culture into a dynamic commercial entity are transfixing.  This is a must-read book for those with an interest in what could become a dystopian drama if not for the emergence and re-emergence of grand intentions and praiseworthy aspirations of the characters themselves.

Trevor Barr’s page-turner of a novel Grand Intentions tackles the ugly side of the neo-liberalism sweeping Australia in the 1990s and 2000s.  It examines the privatisation of an incumbent telecommunications carrier, and the drastic impact of its imported US corporate culture on several individuals. He deploys a cast of plausible fictional characters while allowing the narrative to be driven by an echo of real events in the Australian telecommunications industry.

A historic paper from the Journal in 1976 regarding the colour conversion of transmitters in the National Television Service by Telecom Australia (now Telstra).

Two historic papers from the Journal in 1969 that provide unique examples of vibration measurements in the field, verify reality and discredit some conventional wisdoms in the field of cable installation.

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Society news

At the 2016 Charles Todd Oration event in Sydney on 19 October, Professor Peter Gerrand, Chair of the TelSoc Selection Panel, awarded the 2016 Medallist to Dr Simon Poole, saying “Simon Poole is a technologist and entrepreneur who has made outstanding contributions to the world’s optical fibre infrastructure. Read more

ACMA starts discussion of spectrum re-farming for 5G; Optus says it will expand 4G in Canberra; Top tech firms get subsidy of US$2m per data centre job: report; Dr Simon Poole awarded TelSoc Charles Todd Medal; Nutanix takes flight with Flight Centre NZ; Census 2016: Only 58% did survey online, says ABS; 

Vodafone to offer NBN-based broadband by end-2017; Telstra loses another top executive as CISO quits; Google Pixel on sale today - first looks; Kogan goes after new customers with enticing ‘first birthday’ deal; Vodafone denies it is cutting pre-paid phones; Vodafone’s European NB-IoT push for Q1 2017 gets analysed; WikiLeaks accuses Kerry of getting Assange off net; 

NBN claims ‘lightning speeds’ of 8Gbps in XG.FAST trials; Patton restrained on NBN Co planned use of ultra-fast XG technology; Bizcaps, Authenticateit team up in counterfeit medicines fight; VIDEO: ‘World’s First Gigabit Class LTE Mobile Device and Gigabit-Ready Network’; Avaya contracted by dnata in 5 year, multi-million dollar deal; Talk to the network because Alexa is listening; Naganayagam joins NetLinkz from SAP; 

NBN on board as report predicts global explosion in ultra-fast G.Fast; Sky and Space Global, GomSpace partner on nano-satellite assembly; Google may be stealing mobile traffic: claim; In-flight Wi-Fi: the latest attack vector for cyber theft requires VPN protection; Avaya claims new platform release a glimpse of ‘future of UC’; Huawei hosts ‘2nd Asia Pacific Submarine Networks Forum’ in Singapore; 

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Forthcoming events

nbn logo

This is a limited opportunity for TelSoc financial members to visit nbn's Network Operations Centre (NOC).  The NOC is the nerve centre of the nbn network providing state of the art network monitoring 24 hours a day, 365 days a year of the entire national multi-technology network. It is a single point of contact for all of nbn partners to activate services, manage enquiries and to rectify nbn network faults. The NOC offers multi-tiered support for customers and the network.


Tue, 25 Oct 2016 - 12:15pm EST


Docklands, VIC
Networked Society Symposium 2016

The Networked Society Symposium showcases the breadth of research occurring at the Melbourne Networked Society Institute. It provides an opportunity to connect, engage and debate the matters essential to the networked society. The symposium also provides an opportunity to network with researchers, industry, policy makers and the community.


Fri, 11 Nov 2016 - 09:00am EST


Carlton, VIC

Visit to the University of Adelaide, John R. Prescott Environmental Luminescence Laboratory (PELL) in “The Braggs” building. Luminescence induced by ionising radiation can be used for the quantification of both ambient radiation and total absorbed radiation dose.  Such "environmental dosimetry" has unique applications to Defence, National Security and Public Health.

Adjunct Professor Nigel A. Spooner


Tue, 15 Nov 2016 - 04:45pm EST


Adelaide, SA

The TelSoc would like to invite all members and industry professionals to celebrate the end of year 2015. There will be little in the way of formalities, just a focus on getting as many people as possible connected around any topic of interest.


Thu, 01 Dec 2016 - 05:00pm EST


Melbourne, VIC
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Latest presentation media

What is VHA’s role in the Australian mobile market going forward? How is Australia placed to take advantage of advances in mobile technology such as 5G and IoT??Hear from the CEO of VHA, Iñaki Berroeta, as he draws on his more than 20 years’ experience in the telecommunications industry globally.

2016-10-19 - 12:15 EST

Professor Farzad Safaei will present and demonstrate the next generation of immersive multimedia collaboration services including large scale multiperson-to-multiperson meeting places for groups of people to work, play, teach, exhibit or socially interact.

2016-09-27 - 12:30 EST

BMW Connected Drive customers benefit from smart vehicle telemetric data to receive a range of in car, concierge, vehicle performance, car-to-car and emergency applications.  Markus Volkmann will provide a number of uses-cases for the connected car and provide a technical overview of the supporting platform ecosystem that provides seamless roaming across service provider networks.

2016-08-30 - 12:30 EST

LPWAN technologies offer dramatically lower cost for sensing which unlocks business cases for data collection and enables virtual real-time and persistent monitoring. Discover what it can mean for industry, how it can be exploited and dig into the pros and cons.

2016-08-22 - 12:00 EST

Arthur Koulianos will provide an overview of how Australian businesses have been using Telematics over the past 13 years and how their requirements have changed in recent times.

2016-07-26 - 12:30 EST
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