Gary Smith named ACOMMS 2021 Communications Ambassador

Telecommunications icon, Mr. Gary Smith, has won Australia’s top communications industry award; awarded the title of Communications Ambassador 2021 at this year’s ACOMM Awards.

The winners of the prestigious Communications Alliance Awards 2021 were announced tonight at the 15th Annual ACOMM Awards Dinner in Sydney. The opening speech of the evening was given by Paul Fletcher, Federal Minister of Communications, Urban Infrastructures, Cities and the Arts.

The individual category awards were won by a selection of Australian service providers, made up of a mix of long-established players and new faces.

During a rich career spanning more than three decades in the industry, Gary Smith has made leading contributions to regulatory programs and frameworks that support industry performance and good results for customers.




Gary has led the industry through his positions on several boards, reference panels and working groups. From his time at AUSTEL, helping to define the industry framework for deregulation, to his 25 years at Optus and his roles on the TIO Board of Directors, the TIO Board and the Communications Alliance Board , to his involvement in the development of mobile porting arrangements, content blocking and takedown processes and industry rules related to security, Gary’s wisdom and guidance has been appreciated throughout the industry.

“Gary’s contribution has been enormous. He personifies the qualities the jury looks for in a communications ambassador and has been a source of regular and invaluable advice to me, the Board of Directors of the Comms Alliance, our management team and our industry colleagues in general ” , said Communications Alliance CEO John Stanton.

“Highly respected by all stakeholders, Gary’s constructive demeanor, insight and logical approach have been instrumental in solving many of the challenges the industry has faced in its quest for continuous improvement. “

Stanton added, “The ACOMM Awards represent the pinnacle of achievement for the Australian communications industry, and I congratulate all of the ACOMMS 2021 winners and finalists,
“Excellence in innovation is a ubiquitous trait in the achievements of the ACOMM 2021 laureates.”

The 2021 ACOMM Awards winners are:

COMMUNICATIONS AMBASSADOR – Gary Smith

  • Innovation – Large Company – Optus: Donate Your Data – An innovative product that empowers clients to make a significant impact on bridging the digital divide for young Australians in need by donating something that has become an essential ingredient in connecting to the world that we are surrounds: data.
  • Innovation – PME – National Narrowband Network Company (NNNCo): N-Station, the Plug-and-Play Portable LoRaWAN Gateway – The new NNNCo N-Station portable gateway kit is part of NNNCo’s brand new ‘Network in a Box’ LoRaWAN, the NNN Now range. This offering can be easily and quickly deployed by industrial customers around the world to connect their devices or sensors to the Internet of Things and start unlocking new business cases by receiving valuable data within minutes!
  • Supplier innovation – Ericsson: Ericsson’s 5G Leadership and Innovation in Australia – Ericsson has provided several technological innovations to help Australian carriers achieve the world’s most advanced 5G mobile and FWA networks. Ericsson has helped Telstra, Optus and NBN achieve ten world premieres, including two world records in recent years, accelerating the deployment and adoption of 5G in Australia.
  • Commitment to customer service – Telstra: EME Education Campaign – Telstra’s Chief 5G Investigator – Telstra’s 5G Investigator was a content campaign designed to help customers and the wider Australian population ignore the spreading misinformation and feel more secure. comfortable with the deployment and application of 5G technology.
  • Industry Services, Professional Services – (joint winners) at Domain Administration and Clayton Utz
    • Au.Domain administration: new rules to ensure the trust and security of the .au domain – The auDA compliance team oversaw the implementation of a new licensing framework for the .au domain, in collaboration with the .au domain domain name industry to promote compliance and ensure the. moreover secure, accessible and trustworthy for the benefit of all Australians.
    • Clayton Utz: Legal Services – We are a leading Australian law firm with a leading national telecommunications practice. Our practice has unparalleled knowledge of the industry and we are at the forefront of current industry and regulatory developments. We are working on some of the most complex, strategic and prestigious projects, many of which have redefined the telecommunications landscape in Australia.
  • Best mobile solution – Soprano Design: Soprano Connect – Soprano Design, world leader in CPaaS (Communications Platform as a Service), offers Australian companies a mobile solution to communicate with all their customers’ needs. During COVID-19, this service was adapted to include contact tracing communication, hospital and patient connection, and vaccine deployment.
  • Community contribution – Telstra: Supporting the nation against fires and pandemic – In 2020, Australia has gone from one large-scale crisis to another, with months of unprecedented bushfires made worse by the disruption of the pandemic. These challenges underscore the importance of connectivity for all Australians and we are proud of our compassionate and continued response. We have taken a big step forward for the nation over the past 18 months to help our customers, our people and the country in times of need.
  • Australian Space Industry Award – Vocus: Business Internet-Satellite – Our Business Internet-Satellite solution, developed with NBN, enables businesses, governments and wholesalers to invest and operate more easily and at lower cost in regions and remote areas of Australia , bringing benefits to both businesses and surrounding communities, and strengthens our position as a leader in the satellite industry in Australia.
  • Diversity and Inclusion – Aussie Broadband: Inclusion First Program – Aussie’s Inclusion First Program focuses on real actions rather than words on paper, so diversity and inclusion are now part of the DNA of the company. This is not a specific large project, but an absolute belief that it is the little things that have the greatest impact over time. Winning the award, Aussie Broadband CEO Phillip Britt said: “I am very honored to accept this honor on behalf of the team, because diversity and inclusion are really important to us here at. Aussie Broadband. This award is a huge recognition of all the amazing work everyone at Aussie does with our “Inclusion First” approach. I want to thank everyone on the Aussie Broadband team.
  • Sustainable development – TPG Telecom: felix mobile: a planted tree – Differentiating itself from other telecommunications brands on the market, felix launched by committing to planting one tree per month for each active customer, with the aim of planting 1,000,000 trees with the help of his clients.
  • Artificial intelligence – Nokia: Nokia Scene Analytics – Nokia and the City of Melbourne are using AI to enhance the city experience in Melbourne’s iconic lanes.

This first appeared in the CommsWire subscription newsletter on November 24, 2021.

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