In a rapidly evolving world like telecommunications, it’s amazing how much technology can advance in only a short period of time
For Jamie Thorburn, that constant changing nature of the business and what it enables is what makes it such an interesting industry to work in.
“Coming from deploying GSM/2G networks where SMS technology was new and exciting, to now deploying infrastructure for live streaming, video calls, and networks that support autonomous vehicles, the technology is constantly changing,” he said.
“Once a network rollout has finished, the next technology is ready and we start again. For me, that meant starting with 2G and now moving to 5G and IoT. There is this constant need for faster networks, more information, and people to be connected. It is always expanding.”
Jamie is a Project Manager currently working across the resources space, meaning he is helping to design, construct, operate and maintain critical communication networks and infrastructure that supports connectivity at mining operations.
Visionstream has built a strong reputation in the area of critical communications in the resources industry, including technology that is enabling autonomous haulage — and Jamie is part of the team delivering this.
He has been with Visionstream for the past five years, starting on the NBN FSD Project and moving into wireless networks. He has worked across a wide range of telecommunications projects in his 25 years in the industry; including, one very interesting and sensitive project in Taiwan.
“We were deploying a microwave backhaul system throughout Taiwan,” Jamie said.
“It was an interesting time and experience which included pulling up to what looked like a grassy field, only to find a military installation. In some cases, being escorted throughout the area by military police in extremely remote places where many of the locals had not met a foreigner before. It was a great, but also humbling experience in many ways.”
“It was also a good lesson in the importance of following protocol.
“The lessons still apply today, when you’re working on a mine site, you need to work closely with the mine operator on everything from moving around the site to what equipment you need to use.”
Wild adventures aside, Jamie says his favourite part of his job is the evolution from concept to reality.
“Watching work sites progress is pretty enjoyable,” he said.
“Whether it is a small or large milestone, I enjoy seeing a result and the physical installation progress through to completion - although with my current role I am tied to a desk in certain elements.”
The nature of the resources and telecommunications industries, safety is always front of mind for Jamie and his team. They place great emphasis on ensuring that the job is done safely and that it is done right.
“A mining site is a complex environment, with large machinery and lots of people working at different tasks, so working closely with all stakeholders is crucial,” Jamie said.
“It’s important that we all get home to who and what we love in the same if not in better condition,” he said.
“For me what’s most important is coming home to my wife, three kids and two dogs.”