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Australia Post has signed a $71 million deal with Telstra which will see it receive new tracking technology and 26,000 handheld scanners to provide real-time tracking for customers.

The deal means Australia Post's national network of postman and couriers will each a scanner which will enable them to offer constant updates on parcel delivery status, as well as new features such as photographing a parcel to prove a delivery had been made when no-one was home.

Customers will now be able to track the progress of their parcel in the delivery chain in real-time via Australia Post's parcel tracking website.

Australia Post couriers will also now have the ability to provide live updates on delivery times to customers via the new Motorola scanners, which can also take photos of parcels left outside homes without occupants.

"The new scanners move us closer to our goal of 100 per cent scanning and tracking capabilities for parcels, improving the customer experience from end-to-end," Australia Post executive general manager, parcel and express services, Richard Umbers, told The Australian newspaper.

Umbers said the investment would support the organisation's "growth and innovation in the digital world and enhance the quality, reliability and security of our services across Australia."

The Australian also reported, as part of the deal, that Telstra will provide a locally-based secure cloud service, managed IP network and unified communications, as well as access to Telstra's NextG and NextIP networks.

"With the huge surge in online retailers and e-commerce based industries it’s never been more important to have a service of this kind in place," Telstra enterprise and government group managing director, Paul Geason said.

"Australia Post is now able to provide an enhanced tracking ability for customers with a more reliable, efficient parcels service," he said.

The new federal government has been rumoured to be considering privatising Australia Post, with policy experts predicting the service will be privatised within five years.

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David Swan

David Swan is a tech journalist from Melbourne and is iTWire's Associate Editor. Having started off as a games reviewer at the age of 14, he now has a degree in Journalism from RMIT (with Honours) and owns basically every gadget under the sun. He also writes for Junkee and Fasterlouder. You can email him at david.swan@itwire.com or follow him at twitter.com/mrdavidswan

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