Does Telstra really have a plan?

Summary:New revenue streams and better customer service doesn't sound like a plan; it sounds like common sense. So, what is the future direction for Australia's biggest telco?

New revenue streams and better customer service doesn't sound like a plan; it sounds like common sense. So, what is the future direction for Australia's biggest telco?

Telstra faces the same issues as any incumbent telco anywhere in the world. Fixed-line revenues are disappearing, and competition is intensifying in the mobile space. Last year, its sales revenue was up, but profits were down, and the average revenue per user was getting squeezed. So, however good a spin you put on it, it's not exactly a bright future, is it?

In the UK, BT is prolonging its life rolling out a fibre access network. Here, any financial return on that exercise — if it exists — is being claimed by NBN Co and the government.

On today's Twisted Wire, we interview two people with a different view of Telstra's future.

Ian Martin is a telecommunications analyst at RBS Global Banking. He says that the company will continue to benefit from our increasing spend in the sector, benefiting from strong growth in mobiles. Telstra will hold its own as an access provider, perhaps growing more in the corporate space.

Telecoms consultant Paul Budde has a different view. He talks about how Telstra will use its large customer base to draw partnerships to provide value-added services across multiple business sectors. The money paid by a customer for access might be a small slice of the revenue generated by that connection. The rest could come from corporations that want to leverage that connection to provide other services.

At the moment, though, it all seems a little vague. What do you think? Can Telstra position itself for this brave new world? Leave a message on the Twisted Wire feedback line: (02) 9304 5198.

Topics: NBN, Broadband, Telcos, Telstra

About

Phil Dobbie has a wealth of radio and business experience. He started his career in commercial radio in the UK and, since coming to Australia in 1991, has held senior marketing and management roles with Telstra, OzEmail, the British Tourist Authority and other telecommunications, media, travel and advertising businesses.

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