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Standing Committee on Communications and the Arts
20/02/2020
Deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia

BRYANT, Mr Adam, Chief Technology Officer, Oceania, Nokia

Committee met at 08:57

CHAIR ( Dr Gillespie ): I declare open this public hearing of the Standing Committee on Communication and the Arts for the inquiry into the deployment, adoption and application of 5G in Australia. In accordance with the committee's resolution of 24 July 2019, this hearing will be broadcast on the parliament's website, and the proof and official transcripts of proceedings will be published on the parliament's website. Those present here today are advised that filming and recording are permitted during the hearing. I remind members of the media who may be present or listening on the web of the need to fairly and accurately report the proceedings of the committee.

I now welcome a representative of Nokia to give evidence. Although the committee does not require you to give evidence under oath, I should advise you that this hearing is a legal proceeding of the parliament and therefore has the same standing as proceedings of the respective houses. The giving of false or misleading evidence is a serious matter and may be regarded as a contempt of parliament. The evidence given today will be recorded by Hansard and attracts parliamentary privilege. I now invite you to make a brief opening statement before we proceed to discussion.

Mr Bryant : On behalf of Nokia, I'd like to thank the committee for the opportunity to present here today. Most people still think fondly of their Nokia handsets consigned to a drawer or, hopefully, recycled. However, Nokia today creates the technology to connect the world. One of these technologies is 5G. Nokia is a global leader in 5G standardisation and technology innovation, with a strategy specifically designed to support the Australian market. Nokia is proud to be a strong partner in the current rollout of 5G in Australia, continuing our 120 year presence here.

5G comes at a critical time for national economies globally, supporting a transformation throughout the entire telecommunication system to enable the fourth industrial revolution. The next industrial revolution promises to unlock massive economic and productivity gains and set us on course for a new era of tremendous transformation and progress. Industry 4.0 is about the digitisation of the physical world through digital twins, through connected sensors, through control of the physical environment by the virtual world. This might be detecting that a water trough is empty on a farm and activating a pump or connecting cars so that they can coordinate for safety. All of these potential uses though are reliant on the simple truth: you can't control what you can't measure. And one of the key design goals of 5G is to support the massive machine-type communication to enable this measurement and control.

The other industry 4.0 technologies—industrial IoT, edge computing, deep analytics based on artificial intelligence and machine learning, ubiquitous networking, augmented and virtual reality—are maturing and promise to bring together the physical and digital economies. As they reach a critical mass of adoption, the opportunity for realising a much bigger productivity boom is before us. However, this is reliant on a communications network beyond what exists today.

The Greater Sydney area is expected to grow from the roughly 4.7 million people today to more than eight million people in the next 40 years. However, our most critical resources, such as water, are finite. The industry 4.0 technologies, including 5G, will enable optimal uses—for example, the combination of soil mesh measured moisture sensors and analytics to determine how much to irrigate.

Another area where 5G plays a key role is what Nokia calls our drive to zero—zero road deaths, zero emissions and zero congestion. In 2018 there were approximately 1.35 million road deaths globally and more than 1,100 in Australia. This increased to almost 1,200 in 2019. It is also estimated that 90 per cent of the global deaths were caused by human error. The ultra-reliable low latency communications which 5G offers will be a key building block towards zero. As an example: a car travelling at 120 kilometres an hour will travel roughly 33 metres in one second. That's 10 times the standard width of a crosswalk. Any reduction in latency which results in quicker action will save lives.

5G offers a key underlying technology enabling massive bandwidth, lower latency and denser deployment of devices. This will benefit both the consumers directly and the Australian economy through growth creation and productivity improvements. To realise these benefits though, there is a challenge in Australia: that of access to spectrum. Spectrum is the lifeblood of the digital world, and we are seeing in the US and Europe spectrum being set aside for industry 4.0 applications.

In summary, 5G will change our society in many ways, some profound, such as zero road deaths, and many unnoticeable, but it means the networks we are relying on from electricity to waste management from food safety to communications and mass media will be underpinned or controlled via the underlying telecommunications network—basically the nervous system of our society.

CHAIR: Thanks very much. I like that analogy to the nervous system of our society. It certainly will be more embedded in the management of just about everything. Are you able to elucidate things that might help local governments in the future with their responsibilities, like traffic? You mentioned water systems and garbage. Are there other practical applications for local government?

Mr Bryant : Certainly. I was at a workshop yesterday at the UTS talking about smart cities with a number of local governments in the region. If I look at, for example, waste management, garbage collection is a resource of the city, and one of the key things is utilising that to a maximum level through sensors on garbage bins. We've already seen cities like Amsterdam detect when a bin needs to be emptied because it's overfull prior to a scheduled run. So that helps the amenity of the city because you don't have the overflowing bins. At the same time it can detect a bin that is empty and does not need to be serviced. So you can actually adjust the route of a garbage truck to maximize efficiency and save time. That's one example.

There is looking at water systems. Detecting, for example, whether a park is moist or not by putting soil sensors in the park can determine the amount of irrigation required. Even simple things like automatically checking to see whether rain is forecast before the irrigation kicks on is something that could be done through these types of sensors, which can be deployed across the city environment. And 5G brings the ability to put a massive number of sensors into a square kilometre to tie all of these inputs together and control other systems.

But putting the sensors out there, if they have a battery that lasts six months, is not economically effective, because then someone has to go out and change the battery on hundreds or thousands or millions of sensors. So 5G is also designed to have a 10-year battery life, because it's a very efficient use of the radio interface.

CHAIR: So it's using less power?

Mr Bryant : Less power from the device; that's correct.

CHAIR: Okay. Angie Bell, you might have some questions.

Ms BELL: Good morning, Mr Bryant. Thanks for joining us this morning. Your submission notes that 5G will create unprecedented opportunities. I'd like you to perhaps provide to the committee some examples of opportunities but also some of the perceived challenges that you feel we may be up against with 5G.

Mr Bryant : Certainly. The opportunities are presenting themselves as we move from the physical world. Where irrigation systems are not controlled, for example, we lose roughly 50 per cent of water in transit because of pipe breaks and just poor usage of the water. So there's an opportunity there to digitise that system to control that. I heard a statistic at UNE Armidale that there's a mortality rate of cattle of close to 40 per cent before they actually get to the stockyard. A lot of this could be noted through the use of digital technology, from the case where a water trough is empty and a pump is turned on to using drones to detect whether there is a fence break or using video in detecting whether a cow has died. If there's a watering trough where there's a dead animal nearby, cattle perceive it as poisoned and will not drink from it, so you have collateral damage from that event; whereas if you had video analysis of that scene you could detect an object there and alert the farmer of the need to check it out. So you can start automating a lot of the processes that are very time-consuming for humans.

In other cases humans, because of cognitive dissonance, just don't notice things. It's well proven that, in video surveillance, people watching things just lose track. They can't detect things. I know from my personal experience years ago as a lifeguard that you lose track of what's in the pool when you watch it all the time. You lose track of what's on the beach when you're watching it all the time, because you constantly see the same thing. Machines are very good at seeing the same thing all the time and then detecting a difference. Their brain doesn't become trained to see the same thing. We've been doing a project with the Northern Beaches Council, Lake Macquarie council, called Smart Beaches, which was funded by a grant from the federal government. They are looking at how they can make the beaches safer and make the lifeguard's job more focused on safety by using video analysis, for example. They're tying that in to systems not just to count the number of people on the beach but to count the people outside the flags, to start detecting whether someone hasn't moved or someone's in trouble in the water so as to enforce and augment the abilities of the lifeguards. I think these are some of the key areas where 5G will be able to make a difference, and even wireless technology and digitisation technology in general will make a difference.

The challenges, of course, are that spectrum is a very important asset within any nation and any government. Within Australia, spectrum is a key resource. It is allocated to the operators through auction. It's allocated through apparatus licence to other users. One of the challenges with industry 4.0 and digitisation is that it's easier and more efficient to digitise something using wireless. But that requires spectrum, and the simple fact is every wire you run is a wire that has to be maintained, which increases cost. It's going to break in the future. Using wireless can actually enable the move to a digital factory and digital workplaces much sooner, but within a factory building they have to have the access to the spectrum to be able to do that. The ACMA is looking at how more spectrum can be made available, and we strongly encourage those efforts to make spectrum available for industrial purposes and potentially also additional spectrum for regional digital gap purposes to provide more regional coverage.

Ms BELL: Do you think there'll be more challenges in rural and remote Australia than there will be in metropolitan areas? I'm sure that you'll agree there will be. Can you outline some of those that you see as problematic.

Mr Bryant : I think that the challenges are very much what we already see with 4G and previous generations. The physics of putting a base station out there to broadcast at a large area is not necessarily economical. The Mobile Black Spot Program has been used previously to address that to encourage more coverage in remote areas. Certainly, if I look at what New Zealand have done they've actually formed a separate entity to encourage the coverage of regional areas, with the sole purpose of getting rural broadband and rural mobile coverage out. I see there's a lot of opportunity in Australia to be able to do something similar to encourage a greater regional coverage, but there are technical challenges and then tied to those are commercial challenges. But one of the really interesting things that we see is a combination of potentially using a small private wireless network—we deploy these today in the US and Europe, which would be maybe a town size or a roadhouse type of size, which would be a box maybe a metre wide by half a metre tall, plus several small base stations which can provide coverage to a community—and then use a satellite for backhaul. Certainly NBN has a large satellite deployment, Sky Muster, covering a lot of the rural areas. So one of the opportunities I think is to look at how we could use satellite to backhaul a local wireless and private community wireless network.

Ms BELL: So each community could have their own network, so to speak.

Mr Bryant : Basically, yes. They have their own wireless coverage—not necessarily tied in to any particular operator or carrier, but potentially supporting all the operators on top of it as a wholesale—

Ms BELL: As a mixture of 4G and 5G?

Mr Bryant : A mixture of 4G and 5G.

Mr GORMAN: How would that work in terms of spectrum? Because surely the thing that's going to stop a community being able to do that is the fact that all of the spectrum they need to use is owned by the telcos.

Mr Bryant : Indeed. That it is a challenge, but I think there are opportunities with new spectrum being released by the ACMA to potentially allocate some of that for community resource or community utilisation. Certainly the existing spectrum licences aren't conducive to that, but there are new spectrum licences which will be issued coming up, which it may be possible to do something with.

CHAIR: Are you suggesting an apparatus licence for those little remote communities?

Mr Bryant : Yes, potentially, because certainly there's a spectrum that exists there that isn't being utilised—if there's a need for the community service in the first place.

CHAIR: How would you stop such a community from becoming literally a digital island if they weren't connected into the mainframe and the same frequencies as the major telcos?

Mr Bryant : I think many of the devices today will work across multiple bands, so it's not as locked in as it used to be. The chip sets being built by Qualcomm are designed to work across multiple bands both in Australia and globally, which allows a great deal of flexibility. I know there are bands that are used in the US and Europe which are potentially today used for other purposes or not necessarily occupied. We're looking with the ACMA at the 3700 to 4200 band, which is currently used for satellite in the Sydney region, for satellite downlink and some fixed point to point. But nationwide that band is reserved. So if you look at Hay, for example; although Hay has good coverage. But if you look towards the centre, there's no possibility of interfering with the satellites in Sydney if you reused that band for other applications, so you could put restrictions on the utilisation to ensure that it didn't interfere with existing users.

CHAIR: Do you mean geo-bound?

Mr Bryant : And then when a user would move out of that area, they would move on to whichever carrier they wanted, and that's the way the New Zealand system works. In New Zealand, the three carriers are called the RCG, the Rural Connectivity Group. It's actually formed by the three operators in New Zealand. They receive Crown funding to build the network. They build the network and they have it roaming on top of rural areas as a wholesale network but when it moves to the urban environment they move on to their chosen supplier. They've rolled this out along tourist spots in New Zealand to provide coverage there and in rural communities.

CHAIR: Okay, that sounds very interesting.

Mr GORMAN: One of the things I've been interested in are the skill sets in Australia for deployment and full utilisation of this technology. I think it's great to talk about smart warehouses and things but if we don't actually have the skills to do it then I don't think that's going to change. Can you give us your insights into what skills we need to be investing in to build up those skills and where the shortages currently lie?

Mr Bryant : We've actually been working on this very closely with UTS. We've done a 5G skills acceleration program with UTS to try to accelerate that. But the skills are not necessarily around 5G per say; it's about how do you plan a radio network, which is almost the same whether it's a 4G, 3G or 2G network. How do you plan a radio network? How do you deal with interference? How do you do those types of RF engineering types of things? But on the other side of it is looking at industrial systems so very far away from what Nokia necessarily does but what companies like Bosch or ABB do. How did they take an industrial system and put in a 5G or a 4G sensor device? In the mining industry, for example, Caterpillar and Komatsu, the big mining vehicle manufacturers, are putting in 4G and 5G devices to allow remote control and autonomous control of their mining vehicles, and that is more of an industrial control system type of skill set. It is not really related to 5G as a technology; it's the overall technology of how do you change your industrial systems to take advantage of this new type of connectivity? Then there are skills, of course, if you look at deployment. We need sparkies. We need people that can wire up a base station, put all the connectors in place so there's—

Mr GORMAN: Do we have enough of the sparkies needed to do this rollout or is it going to be slowed down because of skill shortages?

Mr Bryant : I'll have to take that on notice.

Mr GORMAN: I'm just going to go to some questions about manufacturing. Do you manufacture anything here in Australia?

Mr Bryant : No, we do not.

Mr GORMAN: Where do you manufacture?

Mr Bryant : We manufacture globally. We have manufacturing in Mexico, China, Poland, India—Chennai. We have manufacturing in China, Vietnam—across the piece.

Mr GORMAN: And your Chinese manufacturing products are sold into the Australian market?

Mr Bryant : I'll have to take that on notice.

Mr GORMAN: In your manufacturing in China did you have to set up a joint venture?

Mr Bryant : Yes, there is a requirement for a joint venture.

Mr GORMAN: What were the requirements in terms of protection or handing over of intellectual property?

Mr Bryant : I'll take that on notice.

Mr GORMAN: You'll probably also want to take this on notice. Were there any other administrative or regulatory conditions of manufacture that would be different in Nokia's normal business practices?

Mr Bryant : I apologize; I'll have to take that on notice.

Mr GORMAN: I expected you would, but I just needed to ask. We asked one of your competitors similar questions yesterday, and I think it's only appropriate that we make sure that those questions are asked of each and we don't single one out.

Mr Bryant : Thank you.

Mr GORMAN: The other area I wanted to ask about was smart mining. This is one of the big sells of 5G technology. I've visited the Rio Tinto remote operation site that's based at Perth Airport. Fortescue Metals have one in my electorate. But it's also sort of happening already using existing satellite and existing data cabling. What's really going to change on a mine site that's already doing automation?

Mr Bryant : 5G brings a lot of advantages. You're quite right: today there are many use cases that can be fulfilled with 4G. There are some that 5G is much better for—in particular, video uplink. If you have a number of remote video cameras with 5G, you can get a higher bandwidth for analysis and surveillance remotely, which gives you better opportunities to potentially detect people walking into a blast zone, potentially doing video surveillance and video analysis to ensure that worker safety is maintained. When you get into a huge number of sensors within a small area, again, that's where 5G comes into play. But in mining are we really necessarily going to see that many sensors? Probably not.

Mr GORMAN: A lot of them built their own comprehensive wi-fi networks that aren't really using 4G technology.

Mr Bryant : Both BHP and Rio did start out with proprietary wi-fi networks. Wi-fi has real challenges with quality of service over a larger area. You have to have a much smaller radius of a cell, which means you have a lot more deployments of cells at the mine site, which means you have a lot more movements of those cells as you go and your quality of service is much lower. So they have deployed private LTE networks from Nokia where they've basically taken the same equipment that the carriers use and put it onto the mine sites, which means that they can cover an area of a kilometre, two kilometres or three kilometres with the same base station and not have to move it all the time but also that they get an in-built quality of service from LTE that wi-fi doesn't offer. Most of those use cases they can do with 4G today. 5G is a marginal improvement for them.

Mr GORMAN: But it is mainly that resolution and—

Mr Bryant : resolution and some latency, but get the vehicles aren't moving fast enough that the difference in latency that you would have between 4G and 5G makes a difference.

Mr GORMAN: Yes. You don't want to be moving that fast when there's no-one in the cockpit. The last set of questions I'll ask is about how in your submission you talk about the monetisation of 5G networks and how that's going to be very different from what we know today in terms of mobile phone billing and other things. I actually found this quite alarming. It is basically talking about location based charging, latency based charging, device-type based charging—I'm talking cost charging, not power charging—and having these really complex billing parameters. Some of my colleagues' questions are about regional services. I read that and see that this is going to be really expensive if you don't live in an inner city location. Tell me my worries are wrong.

Mr Bryant : Your worries are wrong.

Mr GORMAN: I'm unconvinced.

Mr Bryant : That part was intended not for charging for humans. It's more how the operators take the opportunities that industry 4.0 offers and are able to take the spectrum assets—the 5G assets—they're deploying and use those to go to a port or to go to a car company and be able to sell them a network slice.

Mr GORMAN: In fairness, the example you use in your submission is charging by device type—for example, embedded in a household appliance. That's not a port; that's a product in my house that I'm going to get charged differently for based on 5G.

Mr Bryant : There's always a trade-off between the benefits you may get. Look at the household devices, for example. You might have a device in your microwave, a device in your refrigerator and a device in your washing machine. The power company may give you a lower bill because they have the ability to detect when you've turned the microwave on. They can turn off the condenser in your refrigerator for that period of time and they can actually lower the peak load that you're putting onto the grid from your house. From one house that's a very small difference in the grid, but, if you look at it across a community, they could actually build a lower amount of reserve energy onto the grid, because the grid is peak upon peak upon peak, assuming all the devices are running at the same time. Now, the operator may want to charge the power company for the ability to do that, and the power company—

Mr GORMAN: That is understandable but is it foreseeable that, with this technology, where you have much more flexibility within the system to charge, that I might get a phone contract that says, 'Okay, Patrick, you always stay within the CBD of Perth, so it's $50 a month, but the minute you drive down to Margaret River your bills are going to'—is that the sort of flexibility?

Mr Bryant : I can't really talk to what the operators might do. They have that flexibility today. They know they could do that today. I can't talk to what the what the operators might consider and how they might want to bill.

Mr GORMAN: My final question in this area is: if that's the sort of flexibility and pricing that might be for the customers, be they business customers or consumer customers, is it also worth government looking at more flexibility in the way it charges for the use of spectrum?

Mr Bryant : I think the spectrum in general and how it's being allocated and used is something that does need study. I know the ACMA is looking at how it can make spectrum more readily available and what makes the most sense from a licence type and how to charge for it.

Mr GORMAN: Thank you.

Ms BELL: I have one final question for the public record. In your submission you mentioned critical machine-type communication, URLLC, that 'demands immediate synchronised eye-to-hand feedback to remotely control robots and deliver the tactile internet'. Can you expand on that for us?

Mr Bryant : Certainly. URLLC is an acronym for ultrareliable low-latency communication. That is the ability to overlay coverage areas from a base station view so that, if you lose one base station, you have continuous coverage from another to give you ultrareliability. This will be critical if you are doing a remote control of any kind of device or machine that's reliant upon the 5G network being there. If you have one base station fail—because they do; they're commodity products and they fail—you lose power at one, but you have overlapping or multiple overlapping coverage, which will give you then a much higher reliability on an individual site location than you have today.

Ms BELL: Which could apply to mining or health services.

Mr Bryant : It could apply to mining, it could apply to surgery, it would apply to industrial applications. If you have a factory floor that's using 5G and you suddenly lose the 5G network your factory shuts down. If a mining line shuts down it's millions of dollars of loss—per minute, almost—as the mine is shut down.

Ms BELL: Critical low-latency environments, let's say.

Mr Bryant : Absolutely, yes. The low latency is very much around speed. My example for 120 kilometres an hour, the latency in one second is 33 metres. If you could drop that even down to 10 milliseconds you're down to less than a metre. That makes a huge difference when you're controlling vehicles. I see that as we move into the future more and more vehicles—I don't believe they're going to be autonomous; I believe they're going to be assisted. They'll be assisted by a local coordination network that knows where each vehicle is and can warn other vehicles of that vehicle, so that as you go around a corner you know what cars are coming and you know, for example, if a car is slowing or not. Those types of decisions require very reliable, very low latency communication. If you consider Perth, you would have to control that locally to Perth because if you tried to control that from Sydney, the speed of light means you're going to introduce almost 50 milliseconds into that delay. That makes it impossible to do any kind of real-time control. So you have to move the applications and the control closer to where the action is being done, and that relies on the ultra-reliable, low-latency communication to be able to do that. So we see as part of the drive to zero that we are going to see localised control of vehicles, even to the point where we have potentially tying into video cameras to detect the lorry that's still being controlled by a human so it can warn all of the other cars to look out because there's a human driver around instead of a connected car. That's where we see the URLLC coming into play.

The other question you asked was about the massive-machine type communication. This is the capability that I was talking about earlier to have the very long battery life and to have the very dense number of devices within a square kilometre, which is more around sensors and actuators, not necessarily low-latency communication. It's much more around the sensing capability where every microwave or refrigerator has a device in it. I hope that answers it.

CHAIR: I have few technical questions. It's my observation that a lot of people think that because it's higher frequency it's higher power and that with the multiple cells there's constant broadcasting of 5G waves. Correct me if I got it wrong, but any small cell or major cell will only beam out or beam form a radio wave to a handset if that handset gets called. So instead of the broadcast phenomenon of, say, TV, where there are waves going everywhere all the time, it's micro, little dots to individual handsets, or if it's a home computer that's looking up and browsing that's only when you get the beams coming towards you.

Mr Bryant : You're absolutely correct. That's quite correct. The power of the beam is adjusted, based on how close the device or the handset is to the base station. It's not always the same power everywhere; it's only enough power required to get to the device. If you're close to the base station you have a much less powerful beam than if you're further away. That also reduces the amount of emissions coming from the base stations for any particular user, and it only emits when you're actually using it for something.

CHAIR: So have I got it right that there's actually less power in 5G than there is in 4G, 3G or 2G?

Mr Bryant : Yes, you do have that right. There's less power.

CHAIR: Which seems to be the exact opposite of what is proposed or promulgated by people who have a fear of 5G. There is a fear that somehow, because there is high frequency and there is some mention of 'military grade', people are going to get zapped with incredibly high-powered radiofrequency waves.

Mr Bryant : I've seen a lot of that concern. I have also talked with ARPANSA. I think they have done a great deal of research into the safety of 5G and I would certainly have to defer to their expertise in that area and to the statement of the Chief Medical Officer from January. Both of those have addressed the safety concerns very thoroughly.

CHAIR: Yes. But I take it that I have explained it correctly? There is lower power than 4G and 3G in the 5G system in that it's more bespoke. It's not constantly broadcast?

Mr Bryant : Yes.

CHAIR: It's only to individual devices on demand, so to speak.

Mr Bryant : Yes. That is absolutely correct.

CHAIR: Thanks very much. Any other questions?

Ms BELL: I might just ask one final question. Mr Bryant, sorry for the backwards and forwards. Can you tell us what your view is on the overall impact that 5G may have on environmental factors, as far as energy, and perhaps even down to carbon emissions?

Mr Bryant : I think environmental impacts—in terms of the emissions, from a radio perspective, ARPANSA has already addressed quite thoroughly.

Ms BELL: No. I mean carbon emissions, as far as the environmental. When we talk about fewer cars on the road, there may be less emissions; in mining, there may be some benefits there for the environment where there's less pollution or less emissions. Do you see 5G having a role in that?

Mr Bryant : I do see 5G having a definite role in that. It is tied in with the move towards electric vehicles, and within the last year we saw quite an uptake in the purchase of electric vehicles in Australia. There is a coordination required in terms of charging and looking at how you can connect these electric vehicles into the power grid and maximise the use of the power grid. That requires, again, a number of sensors and connectors across a 5G environment, which is designed for that to, say, ensure that the power is available for these electric vehicles as they plug in.

So people may even have a microgrid at home where they would plug in using solar panels, with a battery back-up. So it's about being able to feed that into the main power grid but also being able to detect, for example, that their car is getting low on fuel—sorry, not fuel; low on battery and not feed into the main grid that day because you know that it's going to need to be charged that night. You would start to coordinate these systems through the sensors that we use to detect. Again this is where 5G comes in. Having those massive number of sensors deployed will enable us to measure all of the statistics, gather them and apply them.

So I do see that 5G is key to being able to reduce, in general, carbon emissions. Mining becomes more efficient. You can optimise the route of the trucks. In fact, what we've seen—and you may have seen the pictures in the paper at the end of last year—they actually have to put jitter in the truck path, otherwise they wear ruts down, because they're so accurate as they drive that they constantly drive the same path. They actually have to put some randomness into the trucks so they don’t wear ruts into the mine. There are those types of things. Even simple things, like not having to take a too-long or non-optimal route, can reduce emissions.

Another way of reducing emissions—thinking about ports—is you often have idling trucks, sitting around waiting for the cargo to be ready. If you actually have a more coordinated system, where you have sensors in the containers that can alert the truck when that container is ready to be picked up, then you don’t have the idling trucks sitting around the ports. A lot of these types of use-cases will be enabled with 5G.

Ms BELL: Thank you.

Mr Bryant : I hope that answered your question. Thank you.

CHAIR: Thank you for your attendance here today. If you have been asked to provide any additional information would you please forward it to the secretary by 24 February 2020. Mr Bryant, you will be sent a copy of the transcript of your evidence and you will have an opportunity to request corrections to transcript errors.

Mr Bryant : Thank you very much.