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MobileCorp 5G project wins CRN Impact Workforce Empowerment Award 2023

25 Aug 2023

MobileCorp has been announced as the winner of the CRN Impact Workforce Empowerment 2023 award, for our 5G drone project with Gidarjil indigenous land and sea rangers in the Bundaberg Gladstone region.

The Workforce Empowerment award showcases projects that make their customers’ staff more productive. This includes projects that promote flexible working, enable mobile workforces and creates the workplace of the future.
The same project was also one of three finalists in the Network Evolution award which highlights Australian networking projects that speed up communications, and break down silos between teams, data and environments. 

The full list of winners is

  • Business Transformation: S5 Technology Group 
  • Workforce Empowerment: MobileCorp
  • Modernising Infrastructure: Cevo 
  • Trusted Systems: Ericom
  • Network Evolution: IP.Glass 
  • Customer Experience: Kiandra
  • Emerging Innovator: NextGen oSpace
  • Platform Innovator: Work Perfect
  • Distribution Innovation: Ingram Micro
  • Distribution for Social Good: Crayon
  • Large Distributor of the Year: Dicker Data
  • Medium Distributor of the Year: Westcon-Comstor
  • Small Distributor of the Year: Pax8
  • Distributor of the Year – Channel’s Choice – Highly Commended: Ingram Micro
  • Distributor of the Year – Channel’s Choice: Dicker Data

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CRN Impact award 2023 Phill smiling

MobileCorp CTO, Phill McSherry, receives the award at the Gala dinner in the Sunshine Coast, August 2023.


MobileCorp Workforce Empowerment award-winning Project

The Challenge - Connecting Elders with country

The Gidarjil Development Corporation has a well established aerial and underwater drone program operated by its land and sea rangers. The rangers deliver various 'Caring for Country' programs across an area which is almost 10x the size of the ACT taking in the southern reaches of the Great Barrier Reef and the turtle breeding conservation area at Mon Repos Beach, Bundaberg.

The GDC wanted to connect Gidarjil Elders with the work of the Rangers to facilitate knowledge-sharing and generational storytelling, and for exploration of cultural heritage sites offshore. 

Physical barriers including topography and distance made it virtually impossible for Elders to attend aerial and underwater drone expeditions, or to participate in knowledge-sharing and exploration activities being undertaken by the Gidarjil rangers.
Quote - Aunty Melinda Holden

The Solution - 5G streaming HD video from drones 

The project brought together the capability of drones and the increased bandwidth and low latency of 5G. It allowed the streaming of HD video from the drones across the Internet, and also allowed remote control of the underwater drones from a remote location over the air. This had not previously been trialled or achieved in Australia, nor as far as we know, globally.
This was one of the first deployments of the Cradlepoint W2005 5G wideband adapters in Australia. MobileCorp configured the devices to access the closest Telstra 5G tower and built a Cradlepoint NetCloud instance to allow remote cloud management including monitoring of the cellular signal. Using real-time data and speed tests within NetCloud, MobileCorp was able to determine the best possible location and positioning of the 5G adapters at site.
This project hugely advanced the capabilities of the GDC Indigenous Ranger Drone program, with the Gidarjil rangers being the first in Australia to harness the increased bandwidth of 5G to live-stream HD video from drones.
Dr Kerry Blackman technology benefits quote logo


The Outcomes - Connection, Community and Country

This project was one of the first cloud-managed 5G network deployments in Australia combining the Telstra public 5G network and Cradlepoint 5G gateway adapters. However, its significance was measured by the customer not in technological progress but in community outcomes. These were:

  • Connection to Country – allowing Elders to ‘walk’ on Country wherever they were located. Many Aboriginal Elders no longer reside on Country or have physical barriers preventing them from attending on Country events. This project opened up a new way of connecting Elders to Country and to the work of the Indigenous land and sea ranger mission.

  • Caring for Country – the HD video streaming, particularly from the underwater drone, will enhance existing caring for Country programs including the potential for drones to carry out sea grass propagation, coral health monitoring, and marine life conservation without having to put divers in the water. The Yirrganydji rangers thought this would be particularly useful when searching for crocodile nests!

  • Upskilled Indigenous Rangers“And the best thing about it, is it is our people doing it.” This was the comment from Elder, Aunty Melinda Holden. This project was deployed with the goal of imparting knowledge and best practice to the local rangers so they could replicate it for commercial use cases, and also share the technology with other indigenous ranger groups.

  • Job creationThe project enabled the creation of a new role for an Underwater Drone Co-ordinator, which was filled by a young indigenous woman, Rebecca Reeves. “It is important to me, to see young indigenous females, getting out there and having a go. This program, using 5G and drones, makes me feel connected with my Country.”

  • Commercial growth – the increased technological capability of the Gidarjil Rangers has opened the door to new commercial opportunities especially around cultural burn management, and Great Barrier reef conservation.

  • Replicable technology – This project successfully demonstrated the superior bandwidth and low latency of 5G and the opportunities to utilise video streaming from drones over the internet can be replicated across any number of use cases. This could include marine biology and conservation, hospitality and tourism, security and emergency services.
Quote - Rebecca Reeves 1
For more information about this project see Case Study.
To speak to MobileCorp about this project contact: Michelle Lewis 0405 667 240 or michelle.lewis@mobilecorp.com.au

About MobileCorp

MobileCorp is an enterprise ICT solutions company with a mission to deliver our customers a communications technology edge. We provide 5G, Managed Mobility Services, Enterprise Mobility Management, Complex Data and IP Networks, and Unified Communication solutions. We have a proven track record providing managed services for Australian enterprise and business, and we are a Telstra Platinum Partner. 

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