Chief executive Sol Trujillo of Australia’s Telstra telecommunications company says:
“We are leading the world, not Korea, not Japan, and that’s exciting. But if you don’t have a high-speed wireless platform you’re not going to be as competitive” in terms of productivity gains.
This from a Fortune profile this morning of Trujillo’s turnaround of Telstra over the past couple of years with the launch of the telco’s Next G wireless network. Basically a 3.5G network, Next G currently has download speeds of 14 megabits per second. It initially cost Telstra US$765 million to build the network infrastructure with hundreds of millions more invested. For a quick comparison, Baltimore’s early 4G WiMAX has download speeds of 2 to 5 megabits per second, but has the potential to hit 50.
The real story here however is that Telstra’s ultrafast wireless broadband network is providing a platform for entrepreneurs to contribute to Australia’s economy in ways they couldn’t otherwise. Especially in the areas of multimedia messaging and video. Emergency first responders and mining companies often use video to enhance their respective services, not only in some cases by reducing travel costs and improving efficiency, but also by saving lives.
As an aside, Telstra has had a two-fold increase in data revenues per user over the past two years and 5 percent increase in fiscal revenues in 2008.
This has me thinking. What would the potential cash infusion into the global economy equal just from innovative entrepreneurs piggybacking on 4G wireless broadband networks?