Telstra Research Laboratories
Notable Events and Technical Achievements, 1922 - 2005

 

1922 - 1945

1979 - 1992

1946 - 1964

1993 - 2005

1965 - 1978

 



1922-1945
___________

1922:

  • The first 2-wire VF repeaters were introduced into the Sydney-Melbourne trunk route on an experimental basis following a visit by Mr. R.N. Partington, acting Chief Engineer, and Mr. S.H. Witt to the USA, England and Europe. This visit lead to the establishment of the Research Laboratories.

1923:

  • Australian Post Office establishes a Research Section with a mission to introduce new technology into the telephone networks to maintain their technical and economic viability.

  • Sidney Witt the first employee and director.

1924:

  • Research Section grew to five staff. Mr. S.H. Witt. Supervising Engineer, Mr. E.P. Wright. Engineer, Mr. A.A. Lorimer. Engineer, Mr. G. G. Robb. Mechanic, Miss F. Terrel. Clerk/Typist.

  • The principal field of activity centred on voice frequency trunk transmission and the application of repeaters, which were one of the early applications of the vacuum tube amplifier.

1925:

  • Applied new repeater technology, the vacuum tube, to voice frequency trunk services by installing the first 3 channel carrier system in Australia on the Sydney to Melbourne trunk route.

  • Engineered the first simultaneous interstate radio broadcast between Melbourne, Sydney, Brisbane and Adelaide via network hook-up of six stations (2FC, 2BL, 3LO, 3AR, 4QG and 5CL).

1926:

  • Established expertise in radio field strength measurement techniques as applied to MF broadcast transmitters.

1927:

  • Engineered a national radio broadcast relay network for the opening of Parliament house, Canberra, by the Duke of York.

  • Measurement facilities and reference standards for the precise measurement of electrical quantities (voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance, etc) were established by Mr. A.A. Lorimer.

1928:

  • Set up Australia's first high-frequency (HF) radio transmitter at Lyndhurst, Victoria. 1928 - 1944.

  • Carried out studies of telegraph systems, multiplexing of telephony and telegraphy services over the network.

  • Contributed to the establishment of an emergency national telegraph service during World War II. A key figure in this work was Mr. E.H. Palfreyman.

1930:

  • Established first frequency standards to provide national time and frequency standards.

1931:

  • Physical Sciences activities commenced in the Laboratories under Mr. D. O'Donnell followed by Mr. P.R. Brett. These activities provided specialist skills and facilities in the fields of analytical chemistry, electro-chemistry, polymer chemistry, metallurgy and applied physics.

1932:

  • Moved to 59 Little Collins Street, Melbourne.

  • 35 staff employed.

1934:

  • High-frequency radio transmitter set up at Lyndhurst (see 1928) provides broadcast services to listeners beyond the reach of medium-frequency transmission.

1935:

  • Assisted in installing the coaxial submarine cable between Victoria and Tasmania via King Island. At the time the longest in the world. Cable had a bandwidth of 40 kHz (6 channels). A key Laboratories engineer on this project (representing the Department to the cable laying company) was Mr. G.N. Smith.

1937:

  • Engineered the first Australian 12 channel VHF (Very High Frequency) radio telephone system between Victoria and Tasmania, a distance of 168 miles, to provide a service while the submarine cable was under repair.

1939- 1945:

  • Assisted in development of radar and communication systems for World War II effort. A special radio receiving station for overseas transmissions was designed and commissioned at Werribee, Victoria. The station used remote-controlled aerial switching and aerial amplifiers, which were novel features at the time.

1941:

  • Designed and set up a short-wave transmitting station to broadcast to the South Pacific islands and South East Asia. This later became Radio Australia based in Shepparton. Key engineers were Mr. S.H. Witt, A. Kline and R.B. Mair.

1945:

  • Eric Wright appointed Director.

  • Drawing on radar experience from the wartime activities, the laboratories developed a 3-channel 2 GHz microwave system for propagation experiments and use between the Laboratories and a field site at Mont Park. The work led to experiments with microwave systems between Melbourne and Sydney and over Port Phillip Bay. Key engineers were J. Campbe11, J. Mc Leod, F. Orr, H. Hyamson and O. Moriarty.




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1946-1964
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1946:

  • Conducted the first experimental studies of VHF mobile services.

  • Extended radio telephony studies to VHF and UHF systems, including antenna design.

1947:

  • The Laboratories commenced investigations relating to the ultimate introduction of the National TV Broadcasting Service in 1956 recommending the adoption of a 625 line system standard. The work also examined measurement systems involving advanced high-speed waveform and time domain techniques in anticipation of TV broadcast programme transmission services being provided over the telecommunications network.

1948:

  • Initiated Australia's first fax service, the "picturegram", between capital cities. The service was largely used by newspapers for transmitting news photographs.

1951:

  • A video transmission test set was developed by Dr. A.J. Seyler and Mr. J.B. Potter. Subsequent work examined techniques for bandwidth compression of TV signals and this led to work on Teleconferencing services.

1953:

1954:

  • Designed and built a special 9-channel carrier system to extend the capacity of the submarine cable. Prominent engineers on this project were L.M. Harris, E.P. Wright, D.A. Gray and R. Buring. Increased its capacity from 6 to 15 channels.

  • First telex service introduced to Australia (followed by international telex links in 1959).

  • Laboratories propagation studies resulted in choice the of Wilsons Promontory to Flinders Island Tasmania path for 80-80/160 MHz Marconi System. The Laboratories designed antennas and developed two 160 MHz power amplifiers for the project.

1955:

  • Received one of Australia's first samples of epoxy resin. Subsequent research and development produced a range of products and techniques for sealing and jointing cables.

1956:

  • First public television broadcast in Australia. The Labs played a key role by recommending the adoption of the 625 line PAL standard which was adopted. The recommendation came after years of research, including the development of a video transmission test set in the early 1950's.

  • Laboratories studies of coaxial cable systems and associated transmission measurement techniques assisted planning and commissioning of the Sydney to Melbourne and subsequent major trunk co-axial cable system implementations in the 1960s.

1959:

  • The Laboratories designed and built a transistorised single channel carrier system for the Normanton to Burketown route. This was one of the first applications of transistorised equipment in the Australian network.

1960:

  • Leonard Harris appointed Director.

  • First open day.

  • Began investigating digital coding and transmission using semiconductor devices. These studies contributed to the later introduction of Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) systems into the Australian network.

  • Began investigating the use of satellites in telecommunications.

  • The Laboratories expertise and facilities for the precise measurement of electrical quantities (voltage, current, resistance, capacitance, inductance, etc) were recognised through NATA accreditation.

  • The Laboratories designed and constructed transistorised 12-channel repeaters, suitable for pole mounting in open wire carrier systems. They were used on the Alice Springs to Darwin route. These repeaters used state-of-the-art solid state transistor technology and circuit packaging techniques in a harsh environment. Key engineers were Dr. E. Rumpelt, D.A. Gray and A.W. Thies.

  • Preliminary studies of digital coding and transmission techniques utilising the advantages of solid state electronics commenced - later assisting the specification and introduction of PCM systems into the Australian network in the late 1960s. Key engineers were D.A. Gray, H.S. Wragge, R. Smith.

1961:

  • Fully solid state time division multiplexed model telephone exchange developed called SCATS - one of the first in the world.

  • Involved in transmitter installation and operation of the Goonhilly earth station during historic exchange of TV and telephone signals between the UK and USA via Telstar 1.

1962:

  • Commenced first tests of data transmission over the switched analogue network at speeds of up to 2,400 bits/sec. This was focused on the NASA space program and included the design and installation of special filters to enhance the group delay transmission characteristics of data lines used in the program. The Labs later received NASA recognition for their efforts.

1963:

  • 1963 Devised an airborne system to relay from Victoria to Adelaide television coverage of the Royal Visit by the Queen and Duke of Edinburgh for the fiftieth anniversary of the naming of Canberra.

1964:



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1965-1978
___________

1965:

  • Commenced work on Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) systems for digital transmission of multi-channel systems over inter-exchange copper cable networks. This was the first step in the evolution of the network from analogue to digital. Purchased a number of commercial PCM systems for experimentation which were the first PCM systems in the world.

1966:

  • Contributed to route selection for east-west microwave trunk route across Australia.

1967:

  • Began participation in international CCITT (now ITU) field trial of a common channel signalling standard. This lead to the design and delivery in 1973 of the first fully electronic exchange to switch live telephone traffic in Australia.

1967-
1970:

  • Conducted extensive propagation measurements on the Nullabor Plains in preparation for the construction of the East - West microwave link. A variety of testing sites were set up and teams from the Labs lived and worked on-site for up to 3 weeks at a time.

1968:

  • Completed field trial and recommended introduction of nylon-jacket cable, which was resistant to termites. Previously, termites were a significant threat to plastic sheathed cables in Australia.

1969:

  • Open days

1970:

  • Began investigating the use of satellites for mobile services and services to the outback.

1971:

  • Commenced investigations into the use of optical fibre for communications.

1972:

  • Video telephone system developed and tested in satellite linked trials between Australia and the UK. Used multi-layer printed circuit boards designed and produced in the Labs.

  • Demonstrated transmission of analogue video signals over optical fibre.

  • Seven hectares of land purchased in Blackburn Rd. Clayton for future Laboratories site. Another 12 hectares also purchased for future development.

1973:

  • Golden Jubilee. Major open days to celebrate 50 years since inception.

  • Development of an experimental, all-electronic, stored program controlled (SPC) tandem exchange that utilised digital techniques to Integrate Switching and Transmission (IST) functions. It incorporated digital switching and transmission, Pulse Code Modulation (PCM) systems and Stored Programming Control (SPC) The first in Australia. In service until 1991.

  • Began feasibility study of an advanced experimental network and terminal device for executives. Features planned included computer controlled switching and access, hands-free and video telephony, fax, messaging and conferencing.

  • Construction commences on stage one of the new Laboratories site in Blackburn Rd. Clayton.

1974:

  • Metallurgical testing of a broken crane and of network equipment resulted in improved methods for crane mast welding and network equipment manufacture, enhancing both worker safety and network reliability.

1975:

  • Telecom Australia formed.

  • Section of the Laboratories moves from CBD to Clayton in rented accommodation called Lyon Park.

1976:

  • Edward Sandbach appointed Director.

  • Developed and tested computer simulation to predict field strength for mobile radio telephone service. The computer system was cheaper, faster and more accurate than existing field measurement techniques.

  • Evaluated operation of IST exchange in Melbourne network (St Kilda exchange) to prepare for the introduction of programming control and digital switching to the Telstra network.

  • Tested new facsimile equipment for Telecom Australia that allowed for the transmission of business documents (older equipment had been used only for news photos and maps).

  • Enhancement of TRL scanning electron microscope (SEM) to include x-ray microprobe for examining optical fibres and laser diodes.

  • Collaborated with University of Melbourne and Eye and Ear Hospital to develop silicon chip for a "bionic ear".

1977:

  • Stage one of the new Laboratories site in Clayton completed and some staff move to Clayton.

  • Investigated and recommended improvements to Telstra public telephone cabinets to minimise heat and noise.

  • Recommended changes to Touchfone keypads that increased product reliability and longevity.

1978:

  • Commenced work in Customer Access Network (CAN). This led to transmission network designs far basic rate ISDN in the CAN network.

  • Improved telecommunications cable materials in use in Australia by finding a moisture-barriered cable and a termite-resistant cable sheath (termites proved a significant threat to plastic sheathed cables in some parts of Australia).

  • Monitored processor performance in SPC exchanges to improve traffic handling and exchange capacity.

  • Official opening of new Laboratories site in Clayton.

  • Construction commences on stage two of the new Laboratories site in Blackburn Rd. Clayton.



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1979-1992
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1979:

  • Developed a Digital Radio Concentrator System (DRCS) for providing PSTN telephone access to rural communities. Licensed to NEC. In 2000, still in use.

  • Evaluated packet switching techniques and protocols in preparation for the introduction of a national data network.

  • Research on machine speech recognition showed that such systems could be used for voice-operated telephone services, but were not economically viable for this application.

  • Evaluated incorporation of microprocessors into the integrated switching and transmission exchange developed at TRL in the mid-70s.

  • Developed an innovative video image processing technique to characterise optical fibre.

  • Detected and overcame a materials problem in solar cell panels used for powering outback equipment, preventing subsequent reduction in power output.

  • Began rigorous field tests on plastic safety helmets to observe effects of prolonged UV exposure. The aim was to ensure maximum protection for the 23,000 field staff who rely on them.

  • Developed studio specifications (sound, lighting, etc.) for interstate videoconferencing facility.

  • Obtained NATA registration of the Laboratories facilities and expertise in the environmental testing sphere under controlled temperatures and humidity.

1980:

  • Provided ABC and Australian Government with technical advice on direct home and community broadcast satellite services via small earth-station receivers.

  • Collaborated in development of telephone for the disabled.

  • Advised on and tested material for glass-reinforced plastic protective structure around TV and FM radio equipment on Mt Wellington tower outside Hobart.

  • Recommended use of "new generation" paints on the galvanised steel Black Mountain Tower (Canberra) based on TRL weather durability trials.

1981:

  • Experimental optical fibre link installed between two exchanges near the Labs.

  • Recommended use of single mode fibre for the long distance network.

  • Evaluated automated voice response systems-including user response to the "naturalness" and quality of the synthesised voice for use in directory assistance services.

  • Investigated data rates, dimensioning and protocols required for delivery of different analogue and digital services over the national telecommunications network.

  • Investigated CCITT standard for data links between SPC switching systems for handling telephone and data services over an integrated services digital network (ISDN).

1983:

  • Assisted in design of microelectronics for the Cochlear ear implant. The ear is an implantable hearing device designed to help the hearing impaired and profoundly deaf who are unable to benefit from traditional hearing aids.

  • Carried out significant studies of packet switching and multimedia requirements for digital networks, including use of electronic directories, encryption and access control.

  • Recommended that an all digital network be constructed. At the time, this view was not supported by the planners in other areas of the organisation.

  • Used materials research capabilities to detect manufacturing faults in network equipment.

  • Evaluated and recommended improvements to solar cell equipment for a range of environments.

  • Stage two of new Laboratories complex at Blackburn Rd. Clayton completed. All Melbourne based staff move to Clayton.

1984:

  • First DRCS systems installed (see 1979).

  • Demonstrated that gel type filling components widely used in the US for waterproofing cables were unsuitable for Australian conditions and demonstrated the superior performance of Australian made compounds.

  • TRL improved short-wave broadcasting service operating from Lyndhurst, Victoria, by introducing new time code format. This was important for areas where short wave radio was the only source of accurate time information - in applications such as surveying, data logging, telemetry and shipping.

1985:

  • Harry Wragge appointed Director.

  • All of the Laboratories located to 770 Blackburn Road, Clayton in specially constructed buildings. Previously scattered over 6 buildings in CBD and Clayton.

  • Open days.

  • Began investigating the use of Asynchronous Transfer Mode (ATM) packet switching to support potential interactive multimedia services.

  • Developed the concept of Passive Optical Networks (PON) for home access. Later also developed a prototype fibre access system (MACNET) to demonstrate PON architecture for laying optical fibre to the home.

  • Developed high-level security system for Electronic Funds Transfer (EFTPOS). Services based on public key cryptography.

  • Telstra laid the first long distance optical fibre cable between Darwin and Katherine in the Northern Territory - an important milestone in the history of telecommunications.

  • In collaboration with Adelaide University, developed new network optimisation and design package for Telstra, tested using a computer simulation of the Melbourne Telephone Network. This saved Telstra millions of dollars in network development costs.

  • Developed PROTEAN, a computer tool for the verification of telecommunications protocols, used to detect errors in Telecom systems at the specification stage, and errors in emerging international standards.

  • Evaluated the effects of flaws on the longevity and transmission performance of optical fibre.

  • Developed a computer model to determine the most cost-effective power supply option (solar cells, wind and diesel generators, gas turbines and batteries) option for remote locations.

  • Carried out laboratory studies of lightning effects on optical fibre cables (to find ways of minimising damage), and of hailstone damage to solar cell equipment.

1986:

  • Developed prototype electronic directory system based on emerging international standards, and investigated possible user interfaces for online public directories

1987:

  • Evaluated speech privacy systems for analogue and digital networks, which later led to the development of the SpeakEasy speech privacy product.

1988:

  • Began investigating the technical and economic viability of satellite based mobile communications to remote areas using helicopter borne based test transmitters.

  • Developed and tested concept for intelligent network architecture to support the first Priority One3 service.

  • Used specialised test facilities to test and refine keypad and other design aspects of Touchfone 200.

  • Developed new microprocessor-controlled "speaking clock" system for Time of Day Dial-it telephone service.

  • Made a significant contribution to the formulation of the CCITT X.500 electronic directory standard.

  • Staff based at Winterton Rd. Clayton move to Blackburn Rd. First time since the 1940's that all Laboratories staff were on the one site.

1989:

  • The Corporate Electronic Directory (CED) is released for internal Telecom use. Based on X.500 recommendations, the system provides extensive facilities for update and retrieval of organisational and staff details via a friendly user interface.

  • Began investigating integration of video with data and voice services over packet-switched networks.

  • Developed prototype expert system, EXPRES, to enable field staff to locate faults in cable plant faster and more precisely, resulting in more efficient repairs and preventative maintenance of external cable plant.

  • TRL is awarded the Engineering Excellence Award (Victorian Division) for the design and construction of a novel Recirculating Inert Atmosphere Chamber (RIAC). These devices provide an inert, controlled atmosphere for the storage of substances, such as certain chemicals, that are easily contaminated by water or oxygen.

  • Harry Wragge appointed a Member of the General Division of the Order of Australia in recognition of his lifelong contribution to telecommunication technology in Australia.

1990:

  • Determined the cause of underground optical fibre cables being cut in Western Australia and recommended a solution. A bush known as the "Christmas Tree Plant" has roots adapted to cut the roots of other plants (or cables) and was cutting smaller diameter cables as if they were roots of a competitor. Solution was too increase size of cables.

  • Prepared siting guidelines to minimise effect of electromagnetic interference (EMI) from radio waves on telecommunications equipment (antennas, etc).

  • Developed private expert network evaluation environment tool (PENEE) for designing and pricing Telecom networks to enhance the efficiency of sales staff required to quote on network solutions.

  • Developed timeslot exchanger and monitor (TEM) for centralised and consistent testing of ISDN network.

1991:

  • Began field trials of SDH (synchronous digital hierarchy) technology for phased introduction in 1992-93.

  • Led a major international standards effort to enhance the X.500 electronic directory standard by the addition of enhanced features (better access control, search facilities, and information formatting and retrieval mechanisms).

  • Pioneered development of a prototype fibre access system (MACNET) to demonstrate passive optical network architecture for laying optical fibre to the home. Passive optical networks reduce the amount of fibre and optoelectronics required to provide optical access to a cluster of homes and customers.

  • Labs work improves time and frequency standards for Telstra - quality of service and remote calibration for customers. TRL’s standards facilities included (then) state of the art caesium beam frequency standards.

  • The IST model exchange operating at St. Kilda is officially closed and decommissioned at a lavish ceremony attended by dignitaries and TRL staff.

1992:

  • Ray Liggett appointed Director.

  • Cold Clamp concept developed and used on a real fault situation. The clamp is used to pinpoint physical positions on an optical fibre. The clamp allows the fibre to be frozen using liquid nitrogen which increases the fibre loss at the clamping point. Other instruments can detect the clamping point and use this information to determine problems at other points along the fibre.

  • Played important role in establishing and maximising number of video channels in Telecom’s Lasercast network (Lasercast was a commercial service involving the delivery of video services to business customers)

  • On 30th June 1992, TRL adjusted Telecom Australia’s time services back by one second to compensate for the difference between the atomic sourcing of time and the solar second. It was a world wide adjustment co-ordinated by the Central Bureau of the International Earth Rotation Service (IERS), located at the Paris observatory

  • Commenced investigations on new digital transmission systems capable of delivering megabit rate services to customers over conventional copper pairs



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1993- 2005
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1993:

  • Bruno Sorrentino appointed Director and resigns after 5 weeks.

  • James Park appointed Director.

  • Provided key technical advice on the Future Mode of Operation (FMO).

  • Began planning and designing an Experimental Broadband Network, Australia’s first large scale trial broadband network based on ATM.

1994:

  • Carried out field trials of Asymmetric Digital Subscriber Line (ADSL) for delivery of video services to the home over the copper network.

  • Developed a novel helpdesk system for use by Mobile Networks customer service staff.

  • Developed Human Factors Kit, which was incorporated into the Telstra product development process to improve Telstra documentation and software interfaces.

  • Played a leading role in defining a new software architecture called TINA that paved the way for the convergence of computing, communication, broadcast and advanced network communication.

1995:

  • Noel Teede appointed director.

  • Graham Shepherd appointed director.

  • Assessed a fast switching technology known as ATM-asynchronous transfer mode- which can support integrated packets of video, voice, data and text.

  • Helped Telstra set up and operate an ATM-based experimental broadband network, Australia's first large-scale test platform for multimedia applications.

  • TRL's expertise in optical amplifier and pre-amplifier equipment enabled it to recommend a radical 'repeater-free' option for Telstra's planned optical fibre link to Tasmania. The recommendation saved Telstra millions of dollars in construction costs and allowed it to more easily increase transmission speeds and upgrade the link in future.

  • Developed one time world's first corporate electronic directories based on X500 standards devised by the International Telecommunications Union (ITU). It was marketed by Testra's National Directory Services. The on-line directory is a major step towards so-called 'intelligent agents' - intuitive visual tools that can select and retrieve information from the world's databases.

1996:

  • First round of redundancies in preparation for privatisation.

  • A TRL intelligent networks team solved potentially costly traffic overload problems associated with Telstra's popular Priority™ One3 platform, and demonstrated the ability of the improved One3 platform to withstand overload.

  • Researchers collaborated with Telstra Multimedia to develop new cable modem systems capable of providing higher speed connections to the Internet, paving the way for more sophisticated, two-way multimedia services to the home. TRL also investigated the use of Internet caching to increase service speed and reduce costs.

  • Researchers adapted the TRL- developed Viewfinder™ H.500 electronic directory system for use in the Internet White Pages™ service. Viewfinder™ was also selected by a major international company from a field of global contenders for a series of global directory assistance trials.

  • Played a key role in designing, and managing, Telstra 's Experimental Broadband Network (EBN), a pre-commercial, wide-area ATM network connecting universities, hospitals and research institutions in different states. The EBN was used to trial distance learning, video retrieval, remote medical diagnosis and supercomputer networks.

1997:

  • Hugh Bradlow appointed director.

  • Telstra part privatised.

  • Open Day.

1998:

  • Helped Telstra Multimedia develop Big Pond" Cable, Australia's first broadband Internet service based on high-speed cable modem links to the pay TV network. The Laboratories designed the Big Pond'" Cable Web site and integrated the component technologies into the network.

  • Researchers created a new digital watermarking system to confirm copyright ownership of digital video footage that can only be detected using a secure software 'key'. The watermark technology is being assessed for commercial application and for use as an international standard. In contrast to earlier systems, TRL's solution does not require the original un-watermarked 'master' for decoding.

  • Researchers identified the network requirements that Telstra needs to put in place to deliver digital TV over the Foxtel pay TV network. Because digital TV-which has a sharper picture quality than analogue and requires less bandwidth than analogue TV, more bandwidth will be available for value-added video services.

1999:

  • Coordinated Australia's first broadband 'Webcast' of the nine-hour Concert of the Century held in Melbourne in 1998. Researchers brought together the resources for Telstra to deliver a broadband version of the 'Addicted to Noise' Internet coverage of the Concert to a small group of Big Pond Cable customers at ten times the speed of the narrowband Webcast.

  • WebDial™ 1800 is a free-call, hot-link product that will enable a business to connect customers to its call centres through a clickable icon on the business's home page. TRL developed the underlying platform that provided call control and routing between the public phone network and the Internet. After a user registers for WebDial™ 1800, the TRL developed platform responded to an icon click by automatically setting up a call to a selected phone, or to a virtual Web-phone in the same user session.

  • To monitor the performance of Telstra's intelligent network (IN) platforms-at the heart of services such as 1800 and 13 phone numbers-TRL developed a software tool called NIMON (Network Intelligence performance MONitoring). NIMON can collect and analyse data from different IN products, even during extreme situations of IN platform overload associated with mass calling events such as radio and TV phone-in.

  • Developed software for a 'Call Preview' service to provide Telstra customers with Web access to phone account information between bills. Call summaries are presented on-screen as they would appear on a traditional Telstra telephone bill. Users can click on hyperlinks to access more detailed calling information, which they can sort using call destination, date, area code, or other criteria.

  • Researchers use Wave Division Multiplexer optical network design to extend regenerator spacing from 600 km to 1000 km - a world record for this type of fibre technology.

  • The improved and highly successful Corporate Electronic Directory (developed in 1989) is licensed to external companies for further development and sales to the wider market.

2000:

  • Paul Kirton appointed director.

  • Highly conductive and virtually invisible airborne zinc whiskers can wreak havoc in sensitive electronic circuitry. TRL designed and developed a compact detector to monitor the presence of zinc whiskers in risk-prone areas.

  • Condor, an expert system developed by TRL, provides call traffic managers with real-time visual representations of call volumes, allowing effective management of mass calling events and protection of other customers from the effects of an overload situation.

  • TRL developed a tool that will allow businesses to automatically implement many software changes, without relying on sophisticated IT skills or coding experience. Using ADAGE, an application designer can draw user interface screens and business process rules onto a graphical user interface and ADAGE will automatically generate an expert system application.

  • The elaunceston project established a regional web portal that provides an ideal environment for a long-term in-depth study of Internet usage when the site is enhanced with local web-based information.

  • In order to extend the coverage of Telstra's new CDMA network in a cost-effective manner against tight deadlines, a TRL team with specialist skills, assisted in the study of repeater design and performance. The work led to the development of guidelines on the design and installation of CDMA repeaters.

  • Internet Call Waiting provides a "virtual" second line, enabling a subscriber with a single telephone line to access the Internet without missing incoming phone coils. The service is being prepared for commercial release in 2000. TRL developed a tool that will allow businesses to automatically implement many software changes, without relying on sophisticated IT skills or coding experience.

  • Mobile Base Station Field Intensity Plotter software demonstrated and sold internationally.

2001:

  • Hugh Bradlow appointed director.

  • Security measures for Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) were enhanced by Telstra Research whose recommendations to the 2001 International WAP Forum on improving WAP security were accepted.

  • Developed a methodology and test bed for measuring the data performance of General Packet Radio Services (GPRS).

  • Telstra’s Electromagnetic Energy (EME) software tool, which assesses radio frequency levels in public areas and around base stations has been commercialised and sold internationally. The product has been used since 1996 within Telstra.

2002:

  • HongKong Tel (CSL) uses TRL developed customer behaviour predictive modelling tools to assist in marketing activities.

  • TRL develops test systems for GPRS data performance.

  • TRL Artificial Intelligence team wins 2002 KDD Cup for Knowledge Discovery and Data Mining system.

  • TRL develops commercial version of Lyrebird 1.0 Speech Recognition Application Development Toolkit.

2003:

  • With its specific focus on the Launceston community, eLaunceston provided an ideal environment in which to explore the impact of localised content on the immediate community. The portal, along with Telstra's hosting infrastructure and experience, aimed to provide great value to the community - an essential goal of the consultative group drawn from local stakeholders.

  • Developed a Spectral Compatibility Tool that can assess the spectrum management requirements of new DSL systems under development and can be used to demonstrate compliance of a proposed DSL system and associated deployment rules with the benchmark performances established by Code C559 for systems such as ADSL, ISDN and HDSL.

  • Investigated the potential of a SIM Toolkit and building prototype applications. For example, SIM Toolkit can be used to create an application that will browse special sites on the Internet. SIM Toolkit was used by TRL to prototype an application that could dynamically provide adventure or quiz style games. The games were played over SMS, but instead of typing text messages, the user could interact with the more usable SIM application, which provided simple selectable menus and options. Since text messages for games can be quite complicated, detracting from the game itself, this application proved a huge benefit when playing elaborate games.

  • As part of Telstra's on-going commitment to health and safety, Telstra Research Laboratories Electromagnetic Environment Safety Research group continues to evaluate new and emerging radio frequency technologies - such as third generation (3G) mobile phones, hands-free technologies, and next generation mobile radio network infrastructure - to ensure compliance with RF safety standards.

2004:

  • Designed a new way for groups of people to get together. By combining SMS text messages with a Telstra web-enabled Conferencing product (Conferlink Online ReadyCall®), people on the move are able to spontaneously initiate phonebased meetings by simply sending a single text message with just the topic or reason for the conference.

  • Created a WLAN “sniffer” tool.

  • Developed a range of products to advance the services to Telstra’s customers in rural and remote Australia. These include Big Pond Broadband Satellite, accelerators for dial modems and rural ADSL coverage.

  • Investigated solutions that enable the Smart cards to interact directly with the cardholder and where one card may behave differently to another, according to the preferred settings of its owner.

2005:

  • TRL closes.

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Last updated: August 2016