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This Week's Biggest NBN And Telco News: NBN Rejects Budget Problems, What Is 5G?

Here’s where we round up all the Aussie news around the ‘net about the ‘net, every week. Check in here for a quick primer on everything from piracy to privacy to data retention and the NBN.

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This week:

NBN Rejects Reported Delays And Budget Blow-Outs: ‘We’re On Track’
NBN has rejected claims of significant delays and massive budget blow-outs revealed in a controversial leaked internal progress report. “We will not be drawn on alleged internal documents,” a spokesperson for NBN said in a response to the report. “We report quarterly and our results are audited.”

According to the report, obtained by SMH, the NBN has “fallen two-thirds short of its benchmark construction timetable” with connection costs also exceeding budgets, according to the internal document dated 19 January.

What Is 5G And How Will It Make My Life Better?
Everybody loves speedy internet, so it’s no surprise that every major telecom in the world is working to make it even faster. Smartphones, watches, homes and cars are increasingly requiring stable internet connections. In order to pipe in enough bandwidth for that precious wireless feed, we’re going to need an entirely new form of wireless signal — that’s where 5G comes in.

Similar to 4G and 3G before it, 5G is a wireless connection built specifically to keep up with the proliferation of devices that need a mobile internet connection. It’s not just your phone and your computer anymore, either. Home appliances, door locks, security cameras, cars, wearables, dog collars, and so many other inert devices are beginning to connect to the web. Gartner predicts that 20.8 billion devices will be connected to the Internet by 2020. By comparison, there are currently an estimated 6.4 billion connected devices in the world. That’s a lot more devices asking for a quick connection.

KnowRoaming Makes International Mobile Data Easy
Being a Telstra customer, and previously using Amaysim and Optus, I’ve had a rough time when it comes to using my smartphone outside of Australia. It’s kind of a pain when you’re travelling for work, especially when you’re working online. During this year’s Mobile World Congress, though, I actually had unlimited data while I was overseas, for the entirely reasonable sum of $11 per day.

Any savvy traveller knows the smartest thing to do when travelling is to buy a local SIM when you get to the airport, saving yourself money by using a local provider’s networks and (usually) cheapest possible data rates. The next best alternative is to buy a SIM before you depart from a global roaming provider like Globalgig, which supports dozens of countries and provides entirely reasonable rates as long as you book them in beforehand. If you have time before you travel, though, there’s KnowRoaming.

Optus ‘Does Not Have Plans’ To Axe 1000 Jobs
“As part of our FY17 plan, we have included $215m cost-out ­initiatives to protect profit­ability,” stated leaked internal documents from Optus — obtained by The Australian — that detailed a plan to cut up to 1,011 staff from customer service and network roles.

Optus has now spoken out about the documents, denying the job cut plans. “As our business evolves we anticipate we will need to make further changes to the way we organise ourselves to help support our business goals, but we have no specific changes to share right now,” a spokeswoman for Optus said in a statement.

How Telstra Tested The Samsung S7 In Preparation For Release
Before a phone hits the market, its not just manufacturers that put the devices through rigorous testing. Telstra have revealed a behind-the-scenes look at what has been going on in preparation for the Samsung S7 launch, and it’s pretty interesting.

Protocol performance, antenna and receiver sensitivity, user experience and voice quality are among the 3,360 tests performed on each phone, which take a team 1,068 hours to perform. This included 68 hours of driving handsets around the country to test service on Telstra’s network.


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