Space innovation will be a Comms Connect keynote

By Phillip Ross, Editor,
Friday, 19 November, 2021

Space innovation will be a Comms Connect keynote

Microsoft Azure lead will present how working in partnerships makes innovation bigger and better.

There is no doubt the digital transformation of communications and data is a massive growth area across all industries.

At the next Comms Connect in Melbourne, in March of next year, the Microsoft Azure Space Lead for Australia, Lynn McDonald, will discuss how space technologies and digital transformation are changing the way industries connect and operate, and how innovation is fundamental to these changes.

Lynn’s keynote presentation on Thursday, March 10, will be titled: ‘The new frontier: how space-enabled technology will drive critical comms and 5G innovation.’

Lynn McDonald, Microsoft Azure Space Lead for Australia.

“I’m focused on building breadth in capability through partnerships and depth through innovation,” McDonald said. Collection of data is the easy part; the challenge is in managing and analysing that data and rapidly putting that value-add output into practice.

With space-enabled technology and connectivity, data and communications can be rapidly accessed from large geographic regions. It’s then imperative to quickly draw out the business or operational value from this incredibly rich data through advanced analytics, like machine learning and artificial intelligence, and get these insights to end users and customers. The use of satellite technology for ubiquitous connectivity and access to unique datasets is ripe for innovation in business and operational applications.

Microsoft Azure Space is working with partners in Australia to innovate and deliver on these capabilities. One of these partners is Nokia. Microsoft and Nokia are partnering to bring Space and 5G technologies together to deliver high-capacity, low-latency connectivity and compute to the edge, with remote capabilities for customers in sectors like defence, mining and agriculture.

“The evolution of technology in hi-tech industries like space is intense and exciting” McDonald said. “With this evolution, there is a huge appetite for rapid innovation to bring new ideas and capabilities to market. To keep pace, a company’s culture needs to support a ‘fail fast’ approach to innovation, where people are empowered to try, fail, learn and grow — and do it fast.”

Eminently qualified to present the Comms Connect keynote, Lynn has 25 years of space expertise in defence, the intelligence community and industry. She retired as a Colonel from the US Air Force in 2019 and joined Microsoft in 2020 to help initiate their efforts in the space industry.

McDonald has experience in satellite operations, space launch, operational test for space programs like GPS, space-based intelligence and cloud capabilities for space missions. She has held several military command positions leading large operational space organisations with complex satellite missions.

With that history and knowledge, Lynn understands the need for innovation to keep pace with the market.

Comms Connect Melbourne Early Bird discount conference registrations are now OPEN. Check out the full speaker line-up at

Image credit: © Armyagov

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