From satellites, infrastructure, and AI, to the tallest player in NBA: A week in the US

Rockets, satellites, AI, infrastructure, customers, partners, Hollywood and the largest player in the NBA: A week in the US

Among the brilliant things about working at Vocus, are the relationships we’ve built over time, both domestically and internationally.

Earlier this month, I was lucky to travel to the US and meet with some exceptional people from the world’s leading technology companies, who we’ve been working closely with for some time. We also managed to have a bit of fun along the way, as we covered Los Angeles, San Jose and Seattle on the west coast.

I am always incredibly excited on any trip to the US, by the sheer size of the market, the innovation and technology disruption underway, and the global vision and scale of production at organisations blazing trails in the technology industry.

I mean who wakes up in the morning, thinks about life on another planet, then sets about building a company to disrupt space travel?

Oh, and at the same time, manages to create ubiquitous global communications. That’s what you get from visiting the campuses of truly bleeding-edge organisations such as SpaceX, Starlink, and Amazon Kuiper, as well as a trip to Boeing’s Future of Flight Aviation Centre. You very quickly realise the new-yet-old-school benefits of scale in production, just in time manufacturing, and logistics at a global scale.

Our trip to Google’s Sunnyvale campus followed the recent announcement of Google’s investment in subsea cables traversing the Pacific, which Vocus is proud to play a key role in. It was awesome to gain insight to the driving forces behind these incredibly large, disruptive and scaled investments. Essentially, it’s all about the next evolution of technology disruption that is AI.

It’s incredible to think we’ve only had a glimpse of the power of generative AI such as ChatGPT, with writing letters, proposals, maybe even coding, but what is coming in the next five years will be revolutionary.

Think of super computers that solve incredibly complex problems globally at pace, or natural language processing that helps solve everyday challenges in every industry and community. It’s quite phenomenal.

A challenge at the heart of this revolution, and one where Vocus is playing a role, is the step change in the size, scale, and performance of the infrastructure to enable and support it. Forward projections for growth in data, data centres, compute power and global bandwidth are mind blowing, which makes it exciting and confronting in equal measures to be a leading provider in our corner of the world.

Listening to the team at Amazon Kuiper, who recently launched their first two LEO satellites and have plans for thousands more to come, as well as the team at Starlink who are adding to the thousands they’ve already deployed, we will soon have large numbers of small but incredibly powerful satellites circling above us at less than 3000km.

All of this innovation and development requires scaled ground-based fibre network infrastructure to enable the exceptional metro-grade connectivity that LEO satellite technology can deliver.

And while we’re on the topic of scale, a quick side story about the scale the US has in humans. I was fortunate to see my first NBA game, the LA Clippers v San Antonio Spurs, and was court side to see the NBAs tallest player, Victor Wembanyama. He’s French-born, stands at 7 feet 4 inches (2.24 metres), is an incredible talent and clearly born for basketball!

In wrapping up, it was a great week, full of incredible insight into the scale of technology disruption that will shape the next chapter of how the world lives, works and operates.

I can’t help but reflect with pride on the work our teams at Vocus continue to do to connect our customers and communities from land, sea and space, and enable brilliant possibilities for Australia.

Andrew Wildblood, Vocus Chief Executive, Enterprise & Government

Andrew is a global telecommunications executive with 20 years of experience in more than 20 markets across Europe, US, Asia and Australia. Over this time, he has played a central role in helping equip businesses and governments to harness technology and maximise opportunities in a highly-connected world.

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