T-Hub won't save Telstra's cash cow

Summary:Despite what Telstra thinks, its soon-to-be-released T-Hub won't "mitigate" the "severe" decline in its fixed-line revenue.

Despite what Telstra thinks, its soon-to-be-released T-Hub won't "mitigate" the "severe" decline in its fixed-line revenue.

At Telstra's half-year results last week, it was revealed that for the first time in the company's history, fixed-line revenue had fallen below wireless revenue. It sure wasn't pretty for either Telstra or its shareholders.

Telstra's mobile and PSTN revenue
(Credit: Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)

Thodey attributed the 6.9 per cent loss in fixed-line revenue for the 1 July to 31 December 2009 period to "very strong competition" which was mostly price led. He also attributed it to a "significant" decline in voice calling and an increased take-up of wireless products that was driving the revenue in fixed-line down.

The company announced at the results that it expected new products — such as the T-Hub — to help "mitigate the decline" in fixed-line revenue in the coming years.

The T-Hub is a telephone device strikingly similar to Orange's Tabbee. In fact, I've heard it's the same device but with different software loaded onto it. It utilises the fixed-line copper network and does not have the ability to do Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), one of the likely causes for the decline in fixed-line revenue.

Thodey at the company's half-year results
(Credit: Ben Grubb/ZDNet.com.au)

Given that, and given the extra costs customers will likely have to bear to implement it in their home, I don't think there will be any mitigation going on here.

People can use Skype, their mobile or even Facebook, and probably already are. No amount of swanky hardware and slick marketing is going to change that. Perhaps if it was VoIP-enabled it would have a higher take-up rate, but as a jazzed up landline? Ew.

Why doesn't Telstra take a leaf out of iiNet or Internode's book with their BoB and NodePhone products?

We're seeing a change in the way people communicate and I really don't think the T-Hub is going to change that. It's old technology and won't sex-up the fixed-line.

Topics: Telcos, Tech Industry, Telstra

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