Comms Connect Melbourne preview

By Jonathan Nally
Tuesday, 03 September, 2019

Comms Connect Melbourne preview

The future of communications will be on show at Australia’s premier communications event.

Next-generation communications technologies and systems will be at the forefront of the presentations and discussions at Comms Connect Melbourne again this year, 26–28 November at the Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre.

Now in its 13th year, Comms Connect is expected to draw more than 1500 attendees from a broad range of industry sectors, including utilities, public safety, government (local, state and federal), transport, mining, oil and gas, security, defence, IT, backhaul and telemetry and the wider commercial environment.

The conference will feature individual presentations, panel sessions, keynotes and workshops covering a myriad of topics of interest to everyone in the critical communications field: latest technologies; regulation and government policy; case studies; cybersecurity; public safety; the Internet of Things, and many more.

Of particular interest will be (hopefully) an update on Australia’s forthcoming PSMB solution, to be presented by Luke Brown from the Department of Home Affairs. Brown presented an update at Comms Connect Sydney in June, and said that by November he hoped there would be a lot more he could say about the status of the project.

Industry workshops

This year’s event will kick off with a series of workshops on Tuesday, 26 November. These workshops are always very popular, and this year will include not only discussion but also hands-on training in some cases. The topics to be covered are:

  • Microwave radio masterclass — presented by Trevor Manning, Managing Director, TMC Global
  • Lightning protection and earthing systems — facilitated by ARCIA and presented by Kaine Mulder, RFI Wireless
  • Sensors, smart cities and the implications for critical control rooms — presented by Vi Lee, Standards Australia
  • Cutting through the hype: current progress of digital land mobile radio and mission-critical broadband open standards
  • Mapping and GIS fundamentals — facilitated by ARCIA and presented by Chris Stevens, Managing Director, CartGIS

Special registration rates are available, taking into account whether you also want to attend speaker sessions and the exhibition — see the Comms Connect website for full details. Please note that the Microwave radio masterclass is a two-day event, spanning the Tuesday and the Wednesday.

Speaker sessions

On the Wednesday and Thursday of the conference, an array of local and international experts will gather to speak on a wide range of topics, covering the gamut of 21st-century communications.

As with previous years, the sessions will be broken into three streams: public safety and emergency management, technology and industry.

There will be a large contingent of international speakers in the public safety space, including representatives from FirstNet, the Public Safety Technology Alliance, Safe-Net Forum, BroadWay, TCCA and more. And, of course, Australia’s public safety mobile broadband efforts will be front and centre too. The speakers will include:

  • Jeanette Kennedy — Government Affairs, First Responder Network Authority, USA
  • Luke Brown — Assistant Secretary, Department of Home Affairs, Australia
  • Steve Hwang — Committee member, Safe-Net Forum/Business Development, Public Sector APAC, Nokia
  • Dr David Lund —Vice President, Public Safety Communications Europe Forum and Coordinator for BroadMap
  • Dereck Orr — Division Chief, Public Safety Communications Division, NIST Communications Technology Laboratory, USA
  • Tony Gray — Chief Executive, TCCA
  • Chris Beatson — Director, NSW Police Force, PoliceLink Command

The full range of communications technologies will be put under the microscope, from TETRA to DMR, LTE to 5G, satellite to Wi-Fi and more. Here are just some of the confirmed speakers:

  • Victoria Lee — Vice President, The Public Safety Network
  • Ranjan Bhagat — Vice President & General Manager, Zetron
  • David Rylance — RPAS Chief Remote Pilot, Metropolitan Fire and Emergency Services Board
  • Sohan Domingo — Head of Product Management ‒ Unified Solutions, Tait
  • Sam Fasullo — Business Development Manager, Norsat
  • Hamish Duff — Honorary Director, DMR Association
  • Simon Lardner — CTO, Challenge Networks
  • David Cooke — Regional VP, Pacific, Parallel Wireless
  • Rodney Nebe — Mine Superintendent ‒ IT Senior Network Engineer, Gold Fields
  • Johan Strydom — Product/ Solution Manager, RFI
  • Jamie Bishop — General Manager ‒ Transport, Tait Communications
  • Andy Bull — Senior Satcom Specialist, Nova Systems
  • Noel Kirkaldy — Business Development, Public Sector, Nokia
  • Stuart German — Business Development, Digital Matter
  • Niiaz Shakirov — Telecom Project Manager, TISSCOM Ltd
  • Mark McKenzie — Head of Innovation (Operations), Transdev
  • Rob Bellian — Sales Director, Simoco Wireless Solutions
  • Terence Ledger — Regional Director Asia Pacific, Sepura
  • Graham Manson — Director & Founder, International Resilience Group Pty Ltd (IRG)

Plenary addresses will be given by:

  • Peter Clemons — Chief Designer, Quixoticity Index/Global Advisor, Genaker
  • Alex Stefan — National General Manager, Government and Public Safety & Security, Telstra Global Enterprise and Services

These are just some of the people you’ll hear from at Comms Connect. For the full list of speakers and their bios, plus the topics on which they will be speaking, refer to the Comms Connect website,

Panel sessions

There will be three panel sessions. The first, to be moderated by Chris Stevens (Managing Director, CartGIS), will tackle the topic of ‘Next-generation Triple 000: The road ahead’. The second panel, ‘Data sharing and security in an IoT world’, will be led by Ghislaine Entwisle (Director, Protiviti) and moderated by Geof Heydon (Principal Consultant, IoT Alliance Australia).

The third panel discussion will be the final item on the Comms Connect Melbourne 2019 agenda. Panellists and the audience will be asked to contemplate and discuss ‘Critical communications for all, not just public safety’.

Exhibition and sponsors

The exhibition hall will have more than 90 exhibitors all eager to show off their latest and greatest solutions, and keen to speak with the expected 1500 delegates who will attend across the two days of the event.

No event of this size could function without the support of leading sponsors. At the time of writing, this year’s sponsors are as follows:

  • Platinum Sponsor: Hytera Communications
  • Gold Sponsors: Codan Communications, L3Harris, GME, Motorola Solutions Australia, Simoco Wireless, Zetron and BT
  • Silver Sponsors: Icom Australia, M2M One, Socius Technology and Challenge Networks
  • Networking Drinks Sponsor: Wireless Innovation
  • Lanyard Sponsor: Parallel Wireless

Some sponsorship places were still available at the time of writing. If you’re interested, visit for details.

The Hytera stand at a recent Comms Connect exhibition

ARCIA Gala Dinner

Don’t forget that the annual ARCIA Gala Industry Dinner and Industry Awards presentation will be held on the evening of Wednesday, 27 November, preceded by networking drinks.

The Dinner is always a fantastic opportunity to celebrate what makes the radiocommunications industry great, and to mix with partners, clients, employees and colleagues. And, based on recent years’ experience, we can expect some very interesting entertainment during the dinner.

You can book your tickets through ARCIA’s website,

BICSI conference and exhibition

This year for the first time, Comms Connect will be co-located with the annual conference and exhibition of BICSI South Pacific, the peak industry body representing designers and installers of information and communications technology systems.

BICSI South Pacific’s membership encompasses ICT professionals in the commercial and government sectors, with interests spanning not just voice and data but also audio, video, life safety and automation systems.

This year’s BICSI South Pacific conference and exhibition will enable delegates to experience presentations from local and international thought leaders on numerous important topical issues, such as:

  • Standards and regulations
  • IoT, smart buildings and smart cities
  • Data centres
  • 5G infrastructure

In addition, there will be content on infrastructure for intelligent transport and autonomous vehicles; Power over Ethernet and digital power; wireless technologies such as Wi-Fi, Li-Fi and free-space optics; and intellectual property.

The Comms Connect and BICSI events will be located immediately adjacent to each other, with easy access between the two. This will be a great opportunity for delegates to widen their horizons, meet new people, experience different vendors and see how the comms and ICT worlds coexist.

For full details of the BICSI event, visit the BICSI South Pacific website,

Don’t miss it

Comms Connect Melbourne is a once-per-year opportunity to see all of Australia’s leading business- and mission-critical experts and exhibitors under the one roof… with the added benefit in 2019 of co-location with the BICSI South Pacific conference and exhibitions.

Check out the Comms Connect conference program and exhibitor list online ( and watch for last-minute updates on the Critical Comms ( and Comms Connect websites — on the latter you’ll also find full details of the registration process for the conference, workshops and exhibition (including a free trade expo pass option).

This year’s Comms Connect Melbourne promises to be the best one yet. Make sure you’re there to participate!


Comms Connect Melbourne 2019

Workshops: Tuesday, 26 November (9.30 am–5.00pm)

Conference: Wednesday, 27 November (9.00 am–5.00 pm) and Thursday, 28 November (9.00 am–4.30 pm)

Exhibition: Wednesday, 27 November (9.00 am–5.30 pm) and Thursday, 28 November (9.00 am–3.30 pm)

Who: 1500+ attendees, 80+ speakers and 90+ exhibitors

Where: Melbourne Convention & Exhibition Centre


Please follow us and share on Twitter and Facebook. You can also subscribe for FREE to our weekly newsletter and bimonthly magazine.

Related Articles

The new wildfire reality: mapping a response

Firefighter-turned-researcher Chris Dunn is helping pioneer data-driven solutions to tackle...

ARCIA update: LMR is not dead yet

Be it mining, rail, public safety, transport or utilities, everyone is embracing new technology...

Towards 1 Tbps throughput using sub-terahertz bands

In order to enable the near-instantaneous communication promised by 6G, ultrahigh data speeds...

  • All content Copyright © 2024 Westwick-Farrow Pty Ltd