$35 million wireless technology precinct for Adelaide

Tuesday, 29 May 2001

Adelaide Adelaide's North Terrace will become a $35 million wireless precinct for new technology developers after receiving $9.23 million of funding from the Federal Government today.

The advanced communications precinct, which will be known as mNet, will be the first of its type in Australia and one of only a few in the world. Telstra is a founding partner of the project, which will enable other high profile IT companies such as Cisco and Motorola to work with smaller startup content developers to research and test the latest wireless internet applications along North Terrace.

Wireless internet applications are mainly aimed at smaller devices like mobile phones and personal organisers, although they can be applied to laptop computers. At their most basic level they include the facilities to surf the World Wide Web and check email, but at a more advanced level include applications such as voice communications, location based services, navigation, and financial services.

Adelaide University ­ primarily through its Centre for Telecommunications Information Networking (CTIN) ­ is one of the founding partners of the mNet project, along with the University of South Australia, Agile Pty Ltd, DSpace Pty Ltd, Playford Centre, Telstra, and the City of Adelaide. The University is also a key participant in mNet Corporation, the consortium which will implement mNet along North Terrace. mNet also complements Adelaide University's participation in the newly established Cooperative Research Centre for Smart Internet Technology.

CTIN Director Professor Reg Coutts says North Terrace was an ideal location for the project, as it is one of the few precincts in the world with so many major institutions in close proximity to one another. It will also boost the State's IT reputation, and provide more opportunities for local startup companies to incubate and grow in the competitive IT field.

"The coverage will extend from the National Wine Centre and the Royal Adelaide Hospital at the eastern end to the University of SA's City West campus at the western end, and in between include other major institutions such as Adelaide University, the Art Gallery, Museum, and the State Library," he says. "It will also extend far enough north and south to include the primary retail precinct and the Adelaide Convention Centre and Festival Theatre. A regional component is also expected to be set up in Whyalla so that mobile communications testing can be conducted in rural areas.

"It will be a wireless network which will combine advanced cellular technologies with high-speed Local Area Networks (LANs), which will be contained within selected buildings along North Terrace. Companies will then be able to come along and test the latest advanced wireless technologies for what we call third generation mobile communications."

The first stage of mNet is proposed to be up and running by February 2002, to coincide with the World IT Congress being held at the Adelaide Convention Centre (and which will see many delegates staying in North Terrace hotels).

Name: Reg Coutts
Title: Professor
Company: Adelaide University
Telephone: +61 8 8303 5075

0414 477 766


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