Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association
Mobile Nation 5G Launch
Parliament House, Canberra
18 October 2017, 7:30am
E & OE
Thanks very much Stuart and congratulations
on your unopposed re-election. It’s terrific
to see that guided democracy is alive and well at AMTA. And Chris who is just a
great leader of this organisation. I
love AMTA. There are a range of industry
bodies, we know, across portfolios. But AMTA really is a model of bringing
everyone together. So thank you Chris
for all that you do.
Great to be here with some of my
colleagues David Gillespie, Fletch, David Leyonhjelm also Michelle Rowland, my
opposite number. And I also acknowledge
James Cameron from ACMA, who is one of the most popular people in this room
today. Everyone is focussed very keenly
on ACMA’s work in this area. And also
congratulations to John and the team from Deloitte.
We are really, really lucky in
Australia. We have a fantastic mobile
network. Something in the order of 99%
of the population are covered by the network.
And there are a couple of reasons for that. First and foremost is that Australians are
very early adopters of technology, and have a voracious appetite for new ways
of consuming. And we know that they are
going to be on board with bells on with all the opportunities that 5G will
present as well.
The other reason why we have such
a great mobile network in Australia is because, unlike the fixed line voice
network which was a government venture, courtesy of PMG and Telecom and unlike
the NBN which we as we know is also a government venture, the mobile network
has grown commercially. It’s grown
organically. And with very limited
The way our mobile network has
developed really is a model for the way that communications networks should
become established. So it’s always interesting,
I think, to pause and reflect on that study of contrasts between our mobile
network and some of the other networks which have evolved in Australia.
We are all really excited about 5G
because it represents a revolutionary change compared to the incremental
changes that we have seen through the other generations of mobile. We all remember fondly when we first had
mobile come to Australia in the 1980’s.
We were extremely excited that we could talk on the analogue
network. We got excited again in the
90’s when we went to digital and we had the capacity to receive SMS’s. Even more excited again in the 2000’s when we
had data and you could have SMS’s across carriers and you could reply to
SMS’s. And even more excited again in
late 2000’s with 4G and the increases in speed and capacity.
5G will be revolutionary because
whether you are talking about data rates, productivity, latency, reliability or
mobility it is all a big improvement.
And the Deloitte paper is important, it is a good primer for the
opportunities that there are across sectors.
Particularly the greater capacity on these networks and the mass
deployment of smart infrastructure that will be further underpinning and turbo
charging the Internet of Things. And it is sometimes referred to as the
underpinning of what could be, and what I think will be, the fourth industrial revolution. So profound is it. So that’s why last week I released our 5G
directions paper. It’s why I announced
we’ll have a working group that brings together government and industry.
And just a few of the highlights
of the discussion paper, just to make clear what we see as the role of
government. Obviously it is to make sure
there’s the right spectrum available in a timely manner. Obviously there’s working in the
international fora on the global standards making process. And then very importantly there is ensuring
that we have a streamlined planning process for the telco’s who will be rolling
out the infrastructure. So that can be done in a way that is fast and at low
cost. We’re receiving feedback on our
consultation paper at the moment and we will have some more to say about that
in a little while.
As I started in my remarks this
morning. Mobile in Australia has
developed organically and commercially.
It will be that case with 5G, it will be the case with the way that industry
embraces the opportunity that it presents.
This will be an area where industry leads the way. Industry is already leading the way in terms
of some of the trials which are in place. And we know that we will have 5G
trials in association with the Commonwealth Games.
This is exciting. Congratulations to AMTA again for the
leadership it has shown. And
congratulations to Deloitte for this important piece of work. And I look forward to working with everyone
in this room to seeing 5G becoming a reality in Australia. And to enjoy collectively both the economic
and the social opportunities it unlocks.