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Telstra straps onto James Cameron’s deep sea ride

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Telstra will provide the technology behind director James Cameron's bid to capture what lies at the deepest point of the ocean.

Cameron’s Deepsea Challenge expedition is a joint scientific project backed by Cameron, the National Geographic Society and Rolex to conduct deep-ocean research and exploration - eleven kilometres below the surface in the Mariana Trench - in a submersible built in Australia.

"It's critical to have a really good telecommunications partner on this type of expedition. We want this to be something the public can embrace as it happens, so we went to Telstra for a solution to get images out to the world. Telstra solved the problem for us," Cameron said.

Taking the role of global telecommunications partner, Telstra will provide the 70-strong crew with connectivity to the outside world, including satellite phones, wireless internet and a VoIP system with international direct dial, plus a full HD video broadcast transmission system, enabling live transmission of footage and images on demand.

Telstra will install an on-ship, marine-grade, satellite dish which enables sea-to-land communication. The receiving satellite dish is at Telstra’s International Teleport facility located in Sydney.

The global expedition has a core Australian connection, with the submersible built in Leichhardt, Sydney; there are also Aussie crew members on board including the ship’s physician, and the project's test dives were conducted in Jervis Bay on the New South Wales South Coast. The expedition also embarked from Sydney Harbour.

Comparing the project to OTC’s (a Telstra genesis company) involvement in the 1969 moon landing, Telstra marketing director Mark Buckman said, “connecting Australians to historic world events is in our DNA.”

Not skipping a beat, Telstra will also leverage the situation to distribute exclusive online content via a video interview with James Cameron on Telstra’s YouTube channel youtube.com/telstra or on their Telstra T-Box. The content will include footage of the Mermaid Sapphire being kitted out for the expedition on Sydney Harbour. The ship’s doctor, author Dr Joe MacInnis will also provide regular vlog updates at youtube.com/telstra. ®

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