8 April 2003

Telstra’s gateway to remote servicing - The Australian IT

Telstra is trialling technology that allows it to offer a multitude of services – including eftpos, security, wide area networking, fast internet access and telephony – from a single device.

Developed by Brisbane company Braintree Communications, the Enhanced ISDN Gateway device is expected to reduce customer churn on Telstra wireline services.

The Gateway’s remote management features enable Telstra to switch on new services remotely without sending a technician out to a customer’s premises, according to Braintree Communications chief executive officer Peter Hall.

Its central network management allows services to be added as they become available.

“The key element is that it allows the convergence of all connectivity of a small business into a single line,” Mr Hall said.

Customers overwhelmingly wanted a single provider to satisfy all of their telecommunications needs and have a single bill, he said.

Telstra has been testing the device in the past month and is expected to introduce it in a few weeks time, as part of its Argent ISDN network.

There would be “efficiency savings” in delivering a number of applications over a single infrastructure, said Steve Scerri, Telstra specialized solutions group product manager.

“The opportunities are really broad because essentially it is any service that requires data access to be delivered to the merchant,” Mr Scerri said.

“Some of the services we’ve been looking at have been retail applications, including loyalty programs, store management applications such as stock and inventory management, sales reports to head office and monitored security.”

The original ISDN Gateway developed by Braintree Communications for Telstra has been going for several years.

“The advantage for service providers such as banks is if they know they can get rapid roll-out of services and you don’t actually have to wait to have a line provisioned ad equipment deployed in the field, which is a huge exercise,” Mr Hall said.

The extension to the existing contract to Telstra was worth “several million dollars” to Braintree, he said.

Telstra planned to migrate its entire eftpos analogue network to a digital network using ISDN, with Braintree devices as terminals, Mr Hall said.

Braintree recently participated in a trade mission to the UK and Europe.

The first product trials overseas were expected within six to twelve months, he said.

Braintree is developing gateways for ADSL and GPRS.


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