History of the Telstra Research Laboratories


Many publications referenced below have been scanned using optical character recognition (OCR) software which means the text is searchable. The quality of the OCR depends on the quality of the original image. Early publications are generally of poor quality. For example, early copies of the Research Lab Reporter have not scanned accurately.

> Internal Technical Publications

> Research Laboratories Reports
> Branch Papers
> Review of Activities and New Horizons
> Telecom Researcher
> Future Focus
> Information Bulletins
> Laboratory Notes and Short Reports
> Research Quarterly
> Technical Journals

> Internal Staff Publications

> Research Lab Reporter
> Other Staff Publications

> Other Publications

up to the top of the page Official

Research Laboratories Reports

The primary publication that reported work undertaken in the Laboratories was known as a "Research Laboratories Report" (RLR). These reports were numbered sequentially.

The first (No. 1) RLR was produced in 1931 and titled "Ringing Efficiency of Two Siemens Neophone Handset C. B. Telephones" by G.N. Smith. Early RLR's were single page documents and known as "Test Reports".

Around 115 reports were produced each year. A few RLR's were cancelled and never issued. From about 1975, RLR's were given a security classification - one of Proprietary, In-Confidence or Confidential.

"Telstra Proprietary"

Will distribute a "Telstra Proprietary" or "Unclassified" RLR to appropriate Telstra staff upon request, but will seek approval from the manager responsible for external requests.


Will distribute an "In- confidence" RLR to appropriate Telstra staff upon request but will seek approval from the manager responsible for external requests.

"Telstra confidential"

Will not distribute a "Telstra Confidential" RLR but will forward the request to the General Manager of the relevant Program who will either release the RLR or inform the requester that the request has been denied.

Copies of all RLR's are held at the National Archives in Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

> Research Laboratory Report Number 1

Note that the above report is signed by S. H. Witt, the first Director of the Laboratories.

> Listings of Research Laboratories Reports

The most prolific publisher of Research Laboratories Report was John Semple with a total of 110 reports.

The last Research Laboratories Report by Steven Spicer
Personal Recollections of Telecom Research Laboratories 1981 to 2005”
When TRL closed in 2005, this last RLR no 8587 was printed. A copy was also added to the complete set of RLR's that were archived at the National Archives of Australia.

up to the top of the page All my RLR Reports

> RL 6890 A Handbook for the 8.448Mbit/s Digital Multiplex (J A Bylstra joint author)
> RL 6914 Single Channel P.C.M. Codecs
> RL 7057 Laboratory Tests on a NEC 6312 Kbit per s & GEC 8448 Kbit per s Second Order Multiplex
> RL 7114 Laboratory Tests On A Commercially Available Data Multiplex
> RL 7207 Laboratory Tests on a Delta Codec used in a Commercially Available PABX
> RL 7253 Instrumentation Associated with Measurements on an Experimental Synchronous Digital Data Network
> RL 7271 Evaluation of a CCITT Recommendation V.36 Compatible Group Band Modem
> RL 7320 A Microprocessor Controlled Data Test Set - Facilities Aspects (N Q Duc joint author)
> RL 7725 The Digital Network Synchronisation Field Trial - Transmission of Timing References over the Analog Trunk Network
> RL 7746 Considerations in the Measurement of Crosstalk Noise Figure on Local Digital Reticulation Systems Utilising Adaptive Echo Cancellers

up to the top of the page Branch Papers

A "Branch Paper" was another publication reporting Laboratories work and used from the late 1960's to the mid 1990's. The concept of a Branch Paper was to "fast track" the reporting process because production of RLR's had a long lead time. In the listings, tabs (htm) or sheets (Excel) at the bottom of the page select different branches.

> List of Branch Papers in htm format
> List of Branch Papers in Excel

> S & S Branch Paper No 95
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know about Documentation

Copies of all Branch Papers are held at the National Archives in Burwood, Victoria, Australia.

All my Branch Papers

> Transmission Branch Paper No 16 A Microprocessor Controlled Data Test Set - Facilities Aspects (N Q Duc joint author)
> Transmission Branch Paper No 17 Performance of the Honeywell H-153 Data Modem Operating at 144 Kbits per s on Various Groupband Loops (B M Smith & N Q Duc joint authors)
> Transmission Branch Paper No 18 Loop Performance of Two 72 Kbit per s Groupband Data Circuits (N Q Duc & J S English joint authors)
> Transmission Branch Paper No 19 Evaluation of a Telettra V.36 Data Modem and its Performance over Various Groupband Loops (N Q Duc & B M Smith authors)
> Transmission Branch Paper No 21 A Summary of Transmission Tests on a Honeywell H-153 Data Modem (B M Smith & N Q Duc joint authors)
> Transmission Branch Paper No 122 Assessment of the EBN Adaptive Echo Cancelling Modems for Digital Loop Access (F G Bullock joint author)

Review of Activities and New Horizons

A yearly glossy magazine entitled "Review of Activities" was published from 1971 to 1992 when it was replaced by an even glossier publication entitled "New Horizons". Both magazines were targeted at the general public. Files are in PDF format and searchable.

> Review of Activities 1970-71
> Review of Activities 1971-72
> Review of Activities 1973 (Golden Jubilee)
> Review of Activities 1973-74
> Review of Activities 1974-75
> Review of Activities 1975-76
> Review of Activities 1976-77
> Review of Activities 1977-78
> Review of Activities 1978-79
> Review of Activities 1979-80
> Review of Activities 1980-81
> Review of Activities 1981-82
> Review of Activities 1982-83
> Review of Activities 1983-84
> Review of Activities 1984-85
> Review of Activities 1985-86
> Review of Activities 1986-87
> Review of Activities 1988
> Review of Activities 1989
> Review of Activities 1990
> Review of Activities 1991
> Review of Activities 1992
> New Horizons 1993
> New Horizons 1994 (Not Published)
> New Horizons 1995
> New Horizons 1996
> New Horizons 1997 (Not Published)
> New Horizons 1998
> New Horizons 1999
> New Horizons 2000
> New Horizons 2001

> New Horizons 2002 (Not Published)
> New Horizons 2003

Telecom Researcher
The "Telecom Researcher" was published on an ad hoc basis from 1988 to 1991. The publication was intended to make the important work of TRL understandable to both informed and lay readers.

> First Edition of Telecom Researcher – 1988

up to the top of the page Future Focus

Published from 1992 to 1994. Took over from the "Telecom Researcher"

> Future Focus May 1995

Information Bulletins

Published in the early 1960's.

> Information Bulletin No 1 (1961)
Radio Communication Via Satellites

Laboratory Notes and Short Reports

Used for a period in the early 1960's to quickly document work performed within the Laboratories that may be of interest to others.

> Laboratory Note No 1 (1969)
A Decadic Pulse Counter Employing a Novel Sequence of States

Research Quarterly

Published from 1975 to the late 1990's. Summarised the Laboratories work on a quarterly basis and was aimed at Telecom Australia staff, or later, Telstra staff. Later editions were marked “IN CONFIDENCE” because they contained lists of publications. These lists were not included in later editions of Review of Activities.

up to the top of the page > Research Quarterly Sept-Nov 1975
> Research Quarterly Oct-Dec 1993
> Research Quarterly Jan 1994
> Research Quarterly Apr 1994
> Research Quarterly July 1994
> Research Quarterly Oct-Dec 1994
> Research Quarterly Apr-June 1995
> Research Quarterly July-Sept 1995

Technical Journals

Laboratories staff regularly contributed articles to Australian and overseas professional and technical journals as well as presenting papers to learned societies.
This comprehensive collection of Australian publications contain many articles by Laboratories staff. The collection also includes some miscellaneous overseas publications.

Staff Publications

Research Lab Reporter

One of the earliest TRL staff publications was the "Research Lab Reporter". It was produced from 1966 to 1982 at two monthly intervals.

> List of Research Lab Reporter Publications


Produced fortnightly in the mid 1990's for TRL staff.

> Issue 1 - 22nd March 1995
> Issue 2 - 5th April 1995
> Issue 3 (Missing)
> Issue 4 - 17th May 1995
> Issue 5 - 31st May 1995
> Issue 6 - 14th June 1995
> Issue 7 - 28th June 1995
> Issue 8 - 12th July 1995
> Issue 9 - 26th July 1995
> Issue 10 - 9th August 1995
> Issue 11 - 23rd August 1995
> Issue 12 - 6th September 1995

up to the top of the page Other Staff Journals

Many other TRL, Branch and Section staff publications were produced from time to time.

Other Publications

> Research Laboratories Quarterly Progress Report 1st March 1960
> AIRBORNE TV Relay, 1963
Compilation of Open Day Documents
> Research Labs - Function and Organisation 1968
> Opening of Labs First Stage Clayton From Telecom Magazine No 32 July 1978
> Humenet (1987) (a satirical proposal for a packet switched network between Melbourne & Sydney)
> Directions (2003) (produced by Telstra with a section about Research Laboratories)
> 80 Years of Innovation (2003) (supplement to Telstra “Our Future” magazine)
> Research Labs Article in Telecommunication Journal of Australia Oct 1963
> Research Labs Golden Jubilee Reported in Telecommunications Journal of Australia 1974
> Transmission Networks & Standards Booklet c1978

< Back to History of TRL page

Last Updated: Feb 2017