Google’s Deal With Optus and Telstra: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Google’s Deal With Optus and Telstra: 5 Tech Things to Know in Australia Today

Good morning. We’re halfway through the week, and it’s time to get into the tech news.

1. Google’s deal with Optus and Telstra revealed

The ACCC has accepted undertakings from Telstra and Optus, as the competition regulator continues to research Google’s grasp on search services within the country.

In its investigation, the ACCC has revealed that it had become aware of agreements made between Australia’s two largest telcos and Google, in place since at least 2017, which saw Google pre-installed as the default search tool on Android devices sold by the companies.

“We are grateful for the cooperation of Telstra and Optus in responding to the ACCC’s competition concerns. The undertakings will allow alternative search engines to be able to compete to be a default search engine on the Android devices these companies supply,” ACCC Commissioner Liza Carver said.

The agreements expired on June 30, 2024, and the ACCC will continue to investigate Google’s conduct.

2. Optus to boost 5G

Optus has completed a trial run test with Ericsson, utilising the tech company’s Interference Sensing technology, in the first steps of improving customer experiences on the 5G network.

The new technology from Ericsson is designed to bolster Optus’ network capacity, and in testing, Optus claims that an increase of user input of up to 22 per cent was observed.

“This technology will deliver a better data experience for customers, with faster data throughput. It will also allow for the implementation of new and improved use cases for video streaming, enterprise and consumer mobile cloud gaming services, stadium 5G service applications and AR/VR,” Optus vice president access network strategy, planning and quality, Kent Wu said.

3. Queensland launches battery supply chain database

The Queensland Government has launched a new battery supply chain database, in an effort to help Australian manufacturers access resources and components to bolster their work, and to fill supply gaps. The database has been launched in cooperation with the Advanced Materials and Battery Council, and is now live for the industry to access. “This can be a valuable tool, that will give a boost to emerging battery technology companies who will be able to identify national business and supply chain opportunities to support domestic production,” the State Minister for Regional Development, Manufacturing and Water Glenn Butcher said.

4. New AI framework for NSW

The NSW government has launched a new framework for the use of AI in government projects and investments. Dubbed the Digital Assurance Framework and AI Assessment Framework, AI projects with total costs exceeding $5 million will require input from an AI review committee. “These mandatory requirements for government projects that deploy AI will help ensure it is done in accordance with ethical principles, giving the people of NSW confidence that this technology is being used appropriately,” the State Minister for Customer Service and Digital Government Jihad Dib said.

5. Speaking of AI

Bloomberg reports that Google’s emissions skyrocketed by 48 per cent over five years, as the company started to invest more into AI development. Google claims that the high energy requirements of its data centres and from its supply chains were the culprits. “As we further integrate AI into our products, reducing emissions may be challenging due to increasing energy demands from the greater intensity of AI compute, and the emissions associated with the expected increases in our technical infrastructure investment,” Google wrote in a report.

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Have a lovely day.

Image: iStock

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