Reg Coutts' expertise encompasses the following fields:
Some of Reg's industry experience and projects are as follows:
Australian Communications and Media Authority
In October 2010 Professor Reg Coutts was appointed a
part-time member of the Australian Communications and
Media Authority (ACMA) for a five year term. The Australian
Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) is responsible for the regulation of broadcasting, the Internet, radio communications and telecommunications.
National broadband network expert panel
In March 2008 the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, announced the 6 member Panel of Experts which included Professor Reg Coutts to assess proposals to build the National Broadband Network and to advise the Government on the awarding of a A$4.7 billion contract to part fund the construction of the national broadband infrastructure. The panel submitted its report and letter to the Government on the 21st of January 2009 which provided the framework for the $43 billion NBN policy announced on April the 7th 2009 and which is now being realised.
Click here to view Lateline segment of Professor Reg Coutts talking about the Governments National Broadband Network.
Adelaide University, Chair of Telecommunications
After 17 years working for Telstra, in 1993 Dr Coutts was appointed to the Chair in Telecommunications at the University of Adelaide. Dr Coutts left the University at the end of
2003 as Emeritus Professor to establish his own company Coutts Communications Pty Ltd which now provides strategic advice to government and industry both in Australia and overseas.
The breadth and scope of Reg’s experience across the industry, government policy, legal disputation, research and technical innovation domains have given him management experience together with the acquisition of interpersonal and political skills very useful in isolating areas of disputation and building consensus.
Qualifications and associations
Reg holds a BSc, BE (Hons) and PhD degrees from the University of Adelaide and is a Fellow of the Australian Institute of Engineers (IEAust) and a Senior Member of the American Institute of Electrical and Electronic Engineering (SMIEEE) and a Fellow of the Australian Computer Society (FACS).
Smart Internet 2010
Conducted a series of pilot interviews for the Collaborative Research Centre’s (CRC) Smart Internet 2010 in January 2004. This involved looking at issues relating to the future of the Internet from the user’s perspective including spam, digital rights management, the trade-off between cost and quality, fixed and mobile access to the internet, and the impact of other applications using IP such as VoIP.
ICT Research Cluster - South Australian Government
Undertook a feasibility study in 2004 for the South Australian Government for an ICT Research Cluster in South Australia building on the research capabilities of our three universities and DSTO with a focus on much closer collaboration with local industry.
Electromagnetic Radiation Study
Provided expert advice in 2004 /2005 on “man made radio noise” to the West Australian Planning Authority. The advice through their legal counsel was on behalf of a group of land owners arguing against the objections by Telstra Corporation to the rezoning of land adjacent to one of Telstra’s major satellite earth stations.
In 2005 asked to provide an expert witness report to the Federal Court on the structure of the reseller market of the telecommunications industry in Australia in the case of ACN Pty Ltd versus the ACCC considering potential breaches of the Pyramid Selling provisions of the Trade Practices Act. The report was not required by the client as events unfolded.
In 1993 Coutts was appointed to the foundation Chair of Telecommunications. Professor Coutts also was Director of a new centre, the Centre for Telecommunications Information Networking (CTIN) at the University of Adelaide. CTIN had to be fully financially self-supporting within 5 years. Under Professor Coutts, CTIN achieved this goal and the Centre became a key centre for research, training and business consultancy in telecommunications in Australia and the region. Its scope covered wireless technologies, regulatory issues and the global wireless communications market where the strategy was to link specific technical research with economic/marketing factors as they might impact industry structure and business competitiveness. In addition, Professor Coutts was continuing as Director of CTIN lead a number of broader initiatives to build the universities links to industry and Government.
Centre for Telecommunications Information Networking
The successful establishment of a new centre CTIN which was unique in the country in that it was fully industry supported and was built with no foundation grant developing its client base on the east coast of Australian overseas. In addition to the contract research, business consultancy and training done in the centre, a number of initiatives in the application of social science were supported and a range of interdisciplinary post-graduate students were supported at CTIN.
Development of the Telecommunications faculty
In 1997, Professor Coutts initiated significant expansion of ICT expertise in the University with the appointment of two new Professors and several other academic and contract staff. This research is now done within the Centre for Internet Research (CIR) incorporating the new Convergence Research Group.
Masters of Science and Technology Commercialisation
In 1999, Professor Coutts assisted the introduction of a new innovative postgraduate program for the education of graduate students across many disciplines in the process of commercialisation launching Master of Science and Technology Commercialisation (MSTC) in 2000. The program was developed at the University of Adelaide in partnership with IC2 at the University of Texas, Austin. This is core component of the Education Centre for Innovation and Commercialisation (www.ecic.adelaide.edu.au).
Multi-University Collaboration Project
Professor Coutts represented the University of Adelaide in the South Australian Consortium for IT&T (SACITT) which was formed based on collaboration between all three universities in South Australia.
Smart Internet Project
In 2000, Professor Coutts developed the participation of Adelaide University in a new Cooperative Research Centre (CRC) called the Smart Internet Technology CRC (www.smartservicescrc.com.au).
Innovation and Commercialisation
In 2001 Professor Coutts, on behalf of the University Adelaide, worked with Professor Mike Miller of University of South Australia to build the broad industry / University consortium to win Government funding to establish the m.Net Corporation (http://mnetcorporation.com) “3G wireless precinct” in Adelaide to develop wireless internet applications.
From May 2002 to November 2003, Professor Coutts while continuing to contribute to the Electrical & Electronic Engineering School, was Associate Dean Industry Linkages of the Faculty of Engineering, Mathematical and Computer Sciences. He was also Coordinator for the Smart Internet Technology CRC and Director, Technology Strategy for m.Net Corporation as an in-kind contribution.
In July 1988, Coutts joined the commercial arm of Telecom Australia at the formation of the Mobile Communications Business Unit where he was charged with responsibility for steering the technology and regulatory direction of the business. In this capacity he directed the deregulatory process underway to minimise the erosion of business in the emerging competition environment. To this end he became actively involved in the development of the new competitive, regulatory framework, especially for the Mobile Communications Industry in Australia. Coutts had responsibility for negotiations with Government on spectrum issues, with the industry regulator Austel on competition issues and managing overall business development including research and development. In 1993, the Mobiles Business Unit R&D budget alone was in excess of $11 million.
Mobile Strategy for Telstra
As National Manager of Strategy for the mobile business unit in 1988, Dr Coutts developed the strategy for Telstra to the new industry regulator Austel in its review of the need for mobile competition so as to maximise the business position of Telstra.
Research and Development
As National Manager of Strategy and Business Development, Dr Coutts and his team managed the $11 million R&D budget to underpin the development of competitive advantage for the business. During this time, several new businesses including the current GSM network were launched and a number of innovative service features were made available.
This involvement at the leading edge of the unfolding innovating IT&T technologies has placed Coutts at the centre of telecommunications industry development both nationally and internationally for the better part of 20 years. Consequently Reg has built a unique professional and personal network of R&D and industry leaders both in Australia and overseas.
Internationally Dr. Coutts participated in the International Telecommunications Union – the international standards organisation and as Chaired its Working Group for a Third Generation Mobile Technologies standards known as FPLMTS or IMT2000.
Dr Coutts joined the Telecom (now Telstra) Research Laboratories in 1976 in Melbourne as a research engineer after completing his postgraduate studies. From 1976 to 1988 he led research teams doing pioneering group into high capacity digital microwave systems and later into the emerging mobile communication technologies in the mid 1980's. In 1982 he became Head of the Radio and Satellite Systems Section in its Research Laboratories and from this date, he deepened his involvement in the broader telecommunications industry issues and in 1984 was seconded to the Federal Government’s Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) to assist in their review of Research and Development in Telecommunications in Australia.
Digital Radio Microwave Systems
Dr Coutts led the research team that undertook comprehensive field trials of high capacity digital radio microwave systems including extensive data acquisition capabilities. The measured results supported a new link planning method which was published in international conferences in 1983 and 1984. This new approach was taken up within the Telstra design methodologies.
Federal Government Review
In 1984, Dr Coutts participated in the Federal Government review by the Australian Science and Technology Council (ASTEC) into the state of research and development in telecommunications and its impact on Australia’s competitive industry position.
Initial development of the 3G mobile standard
As head of the Radio and Satellite Systems Section, Dr Coutts transitioned the expertise of the section from digital radio to the study of future digital mobile technology which lead to Dr Coutts to participate in the first meeting in Canada by the ITU in 1986 to consider a third generation mobile technology now referred to “3G”. This involvement in this development by ITU continued up to 1992 where spectrum was designated for this new technology.