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Temporary Disaster Roaming Takes Next Important Step

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Since March 2023, Telstra has been working with the government, TPG and Optus to develop a Temporary Disaster Roaming solution in Australia. And now an important milestone has been reached. TDR has been successfully tested in a simulation by Telstra as we show in the video above.

TDR is designed to keep us connected to any surviving mobile network during bushfires or floods.  If your network goes down, TDR will allow your phone to jump onto another network during the disaster. 

Overseas, countries such as Canada, Japan and the USA are developing or have implemented a form of temporary disaster roaming. And we really need it too.

Like most things in the wireless world, developing TDR is complex. Telstra has to take into account the stress it would put on any surviving network.

Last week Telstra ran a simulation at its 5G Innovation Centre on the Gold Coast. The team started with a device on a mock network, and then simulated that network going down due to a disaster.

Telstra then simulated the temporary disaster roaming functionality, which allowed the device to roam onto its network and connect. This successful simulation was an important step in development of TDR.

“While there are technical, process and financial challenges to overcome, the learnings from our simulation will help guide ongoing conversations with industry and government to help make this temporary disaster roaming solution a reality,” said Telstra Technology Development Innovation Executive Channa Seneviratne. 

This roaming solution is separate from the ability to call Triple Zero, which is already active.

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