How Cleanaway is powering remote connectivity and innovation with Telstra and Cradlepoint

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Australians produce 540kg of household waste per person, every year. We don’t often think about how this waste is managed, but it’s critical this monumental task is carried out in a responsible and consistent way.

As the country’s leading total waste management organisation, millions of Australians rely on Cleanaway to maintain their clean and vibrant communities. The company has been working with Australian businesses, industries and government bodies for more than 50 years, with a vision to close the loop on waste and make a sustainable future possible for everyone. Waste services are critical to communities’ health and wellbeing, and it’s vital they operate efficiently and without interruption.

Connecting remote sites and business-critical devices

Cleanaway operates a range of waste management sites throughout Australia, including landfill facilities and recycling centres. While these sites require strong network coverage to connect infrastructure and devices to the corporate network, many are in remote locations without access to fixed infrastructure.

The organisation experienced difficulties maintaining this vital connectivity under its previous carrier with coverage issues and dropouts causing unnecessary operational delays. It also had a series of unmanaged network devices across sites with no visibility of devices or their location.

One major challenge was maintaining connectivity to the organisation’s weighbridge equipment. Weighbridges are located at landfill sites to weigh trucks when they come in and out of facilities, to determine how much waste has been collected. This data is sent to Cleanaway’s corporate network, allowing it to charge customers accurately.

If the network went down, the organisation relied on manual data collection, which slowed down finance teams and made compliance more difficult.

“We needed a trusted advisor and trusted support. We’re a lean IT organisation and we spend a lot of time on strategic business objectives, so we needed a partner who could help us design, implement and maintain a robust solution and relieve that pressure.”

Phillip Grant, ICT Operations Manager at Cleanaway

Robust mobile connectivity powered by Telstra, 1Step and Cradlepoint

Cleanaway engaged Telstra and solutions partner 1Step to design and implement a vigorous network transformation. This included migrating from the previous provider to Telstra’s leading mobile network, bringing Cradlepoint on board to provide a wireless WAN solution to connect remote sites.

Cradlepoint was identified as the vendor of choice because of its leadership in LTE and 5G connectivity, as well as the company’s ability to configure and manage all devices from a single pane of glass.

Telstra and 1Step provided critical assistance in project managing the implementation. The Cradlepoint network connectivity was designed as a repeatable, turnkey solution, with deployment starting at a small number of sites before expanding to more than 50.

Deployment is fast and straightforward to set up and manage, with pre-configured devices shipped directly to sites with very simple instructions. Cleanaway’s teams don’t require any expert knowledge as they can connect to the devices as soon as they’re powered on.

All devices and sites are managed by 1Step, with complete visibility over where devices are and how they’re being used.

Powering ‘always-on’ waste management 

In partnership with Telstra, 1Step, and Cradlepoint, Cleanaway built a far more reliable network that can be rapidly deployed and scaled as business needs change. Network downtime is significantly reduced, allowing staff to focus on their job without unnecessary delays.

Cleanaway has increased agility through Cradlepoint’s cloud-managed wireless network devices which can be deployed and scaled quickly. When sites need more bandwidth, it can move devices around or deploy new ones. At larger sites, it deploys Cradlepoint’s 5G-enabled wireless WAN solutions to cover more users with faster connectivity.

This also helps with new business. When Cleanaway takes on a new site or makes acquisitions, it has confidence it can deploy robust connectivity quickly and securely.

Cleanaway is now working with 1Step, Cradlepoint and Telstra to investigate other Cradlepoint mobility use cases including enabling real-time data transmission for the trucks themselves. That capability would drive a range of requirements, such as informing customers their bins have been picked up or allowing Cleanaway to more easily comply with Council vehicle tracking requirements.

“It’s been a great working relationship,” Grant adds. “Even though we’re working with multiple teams, it’s felt like a joint partnership. I’ve been working with 1Step for years and when I came over to Cleanaway I was excited 1Step was there as a partner with Telstra. Cradlepoint adds extra value and the combination of the three gave me the confidence we’d be able to deliver any solution we needed to.”