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One of Australia’s leading telecommunication companies has announced that it will launch a new IoT lab which has been described as a ‘game changer’ for the country’s IoT ecosystem. Telstra Corporation Limited - is one of Australia’s largest and most successful telecommunications and media organizations.

It formally disclosed details regarding the launch of its IoT lab in Melbourne, after months of speculation surrounding the project. Telstra CTO, Hakan Eriksson outlined his vision for the project, and said that he hopes university students, start-ups and multinational companies can work with some of the best equipment and minds in this industry in order to bring their IoT solution to life.

According to Eriksson the IoT lab in Melbourne will be a public space which will allow anyone with the opportunity to create, test and prototype IoT solutions which shared the goal to improve the overall IoT ecosystem in Australia.

The lab seeks to enable those in the IoT sector to assess how their IoT applications and services will work on Telstra’s network through stringent testing in a controlled environment. In addition to this, the Australian telecommunications company stressed that the new facility was the latest phase in its overall ‘Innovation Lab initiative’ which included both software and hardware for testing.

Telstra’s CTO conceded that from their standpoint, they’re experts from a network perspective, but not in relation to applications in areas such as agriculture, power distribution and logistics. He told The Financial Review, “We’re experts in the network part of it, but not in all the applications that run on top such as agricultural applications, power distribution applications or logistics applications… and they are not experts in networks, so we needed a meeting place.”

Eriksson suggested that innovators will also want to gain access to the lab in order to utilize Telstra’s infrastructure, experts, community engagement, facilitators, and extensive 4G network. He also disclosed that Telstra plan to bring in a 5G test network in 2018, as the organization ramps up its effort to implement the revolutionary technology by 2020. He said: "We will start doing trials in 2018 with 5G, so it will be very natural to bring some of that into the lab.”