REMEMBER ANALOG MOBILE PHONES?
They weren’t as small as modern digital phones, nor have internet and a zillion apps.
But they had much better coverage.
Lots of bush people lost reliable coverage when the analog network was closed and digital was the only choice.
But now 5G digital is coming, and a host of cheaper relay technology.
Currently, it is only available to hipsters in inner Sydney and Melbourne as they chow down their smashed avocado.
There should be trials in the bush.
Not only does 5G carry lots more data (great for hipsters playing their video games on the phone, but more productive for farmers trying to download soil maps and productivity data) — and set-up correctly, has better coverage.
That IT behemoth, Google, is trialling new 5G technology (not just phones, but the broader wireless technology) with a view to taking-on the traditional telco giants.
The opening gap in the market they see are the less populated rural areas.
In the USA, Google is fighting the telco oligopoly in rural areas where the telcos have provided poor service, both coverage and technology. It’s got all political, of course, because the telcos don’t want Google to do to them on phone and internet what it did to their once hugely profitable Yellow Pages directories.
Interesting is the Google business plan. They are partnering with rural communities, mostly of less than 1,200 users, to build mobile phone and wireless internet capability.
The communities take the Google wireless technology and pay it off through call charges that they set according to their usage patterns. For instance, a large farming enterprise might pay a bit more for data download so their field workers (perhaps low paid, possibly illegal immigrant workers) can have free calls so they can get notifications of start times for their work shifts.
Calls out of their local area, via one of the big telco networks, are at normal telco charges.
It would be interesting if some rural community in Queensland contacted Google to trial a bush community network.
The big telcos would scream and the NBN would be unhappy, but taking control of your communications with the latest technology set-up to best suit your community would be worth trialling.
It couldn’t be worse than the litany of broken promises, undelivered plans, arrogant disregard and purely poor services from successive governments and ultra profitable telcos!