My keynote speech at Hackmakers’ SmartCities Hack 2021

Hello and welcome to Hackmakers SmartCities Hack 2021. My name is Saeed Tasbihsazan, the Chief Technology Officer for Telstra Enterprise and Government customers. I am joining you today from the lands of the Wurundjeri people of Kulin Nation. On behalf of Telstra, I would like to acknowledge and pay our respects to the Traditional Custodians of Country throughout Australia and recognise their continued connection to land, waters and culture. We pay our respects to their Elders past, present and emerging.

As Steve Nouri commented, a smart city is a framework, mostly reliant on Information and Communication Technologies, to develop, deploy, and promote sustainable practices that address growing urbanization challenges. A critical part of this ICT framework is a secure, intelligent network of connected objects, sensors and people.

As a telecommunications and technology company, Telstra believe that we play a vital role in the development of the future smart cities. It is however your innovative ideas which are complemented by the technologies available through us, that will bring the future you envision to life. You are the Artists, the cities are your canvas and we are the paints and the brush.

Sticking with the same analogy, let me tell you about some of the colourful paints available through Telstra. We believe smart cities need to make data driven decisions to build safe, sustainable and resilient communities. Data is central to the way a smart city unlocks value. Telstra’s data hub is underpinned by Microsoft Azure, and tackles the challenge of secure and at scale data sharing and collaboration among a diverse community.

But how do we get the data there? Telstra’s cellular IoT coverage extends to around 3M sqkms for LTE-M and almost 4M sqkms for NB-IoT. Narrow Band IoT is intended for use cases that require low amounts of data transmitted at low speed at greatly extended range. This will greatly increase the battery life of your sensors. LTE-M on the other hand, supports higher bandwidths and speeds and is good for mobile devices and sensors

We are no longer limited by the speed or security of the network. Telstra’s 5G network provides over 10 times the capacity, scale and speed of 4G and does so at 1/30th the latency and with features like network slicing. Our edge-compute capability provides you with the ability to perform high CPU intensive and delay sensitive tasks closer to the edge, where the action happens.

As you think about how Citizens engage with smart city ecosystems, be it using smartphones and mobile devices or connected cars and homes, ensure accessibility, security and privacy are built into your ideas. Your solutions must cater for those living with disabilities, and those experiencing mental health conditions. Your solutions must also be secure. Protecting citizens privacy and our infrastructure’s security starts with you. Also, if you are thinking of using AI, then please honour ethical AI principles. Microsoft’s six principles for responsible AI is an excellent starting point.

Lastly, I wish you the best of luck and extend my thanks to the sponsors of this event: NSW Government’s Smart Places Strategy, Oracle, Oracle partner network and Slack.