The merry second lives of Telstra

The merry second lives of Telstra

Summary: Friends, industry watchers, readers; I come not to bag Telstra, but to praise it. The evil that telcos do often lives on after their Investors Days, while the good is often lost during interminable speeches.


Friends, industry watchers, readers; I come not to bag Telstra, but to praise it. The evil that telcos do often lives on after their Investors Days, while the good is often lost during interminable speeches.

Let it not be that way with Telstra.

Yesterday at Telstra's Investor Day, the company was showing off the virtual Sydney CBD it had created in Second Life. It was very nicely done -- like the real thing, only without the homeless, graffiti and litter, like a CBD co-opted by the Singaporean government.

Did you know Telstra is officially leading the world in Second Life? No, me neither. I assumed that them jumping on the bandwagon four years after the virtual world opened its doors along with every other Tom, Dick and me-too merchant wasn't exactly cutting edge, but what do I know? The man on the advert said Telstra is at the "global forefront of innovation in Second Life", so congrats there to Sol and team.

Justin Milne, BigPond's MD, added a nice footnote on Second Life -- he said that the company doesn't know what type of applications will become popular in virtual worlds but BigPond will definitely be on top of them.

I got very excited when I heard that, because I knew I could help out the global innovator that is Telstra. So, here's the skinny fellas: I hear sex is quite the thing in virtual worlds. Bearing in mind BigPond is all over popular applications, I guess we can presume Justin's avatar is dusting down those nipple tassels as I type. Good on you, sir.

For Telstra says it will be ahead of global innovation, and so it must be, for Telstra is an honourable telco.

Another great service showcased by Telstra was QR codes. Honestly, they're cracking. No, really, I've never got why they're not more popular. Get to know them, you'll like them. I'm rather fond of them myself.

Happily, Telstra has decided to get involved, launching its own QR code reading software with some cobblers brand name that's slipped my mind for the moment. "Only from Telstra!" trumpeted one exec.

That's funny, I thought, I could have sworn QR code reading and making software is everywhere over the net. Anyone, anywhere, can use QR codes; use them to encode text or URLs, like Telstra plans to. In fact, I thought, I'm sure QR codes are heavily used in Japan. I guess the Japanese didn't know that QR codes are only from Telstra. Go figure.

But Telstra says they're only from Telstra and so it must be, for Telstra is an honourable telco.

Telstra does get a hard deal from the government, doesn't it? Take that AU$1 billion the government had saved for a bush network. The cheeky devils had the temerity to give the contract to another company!

But as said Sol Trujillo yesterday, like the brave little soldier he is, "We're not whinging, we're not crying." Not whinging, not crying -- launching a legal action (or two) against a government minister and losing, granted -- but not whinging or crying.

I got the impression that Senator Coonan keeps Telstra's top brass awake at night as they gently shake with rage, but Trujillo says that he spends just "two percent" of his time thinking about regulators and, so he must do, for Telstra is an honourable telco.

And yesterday those self-same top brass told us they had turned in yet another project two months ahead of schedule. They did that with their CDMA equivalence program too -- getting it done several months before it was due. Bless you, Telstra, and your work ethic. No wonder you haven't had time to turn on more ADSL2+ exchanges with all that's going on.

On a completely unrelated note, did anyone ever watch that Star Trek episode where Scotty was questioned about how he always managed to complete engineering projects ahead of schedule? He revealed his tactic was to multiply the time needed for a job by four and publicise that deadline so he could cover himself in glory when he turned in his work in a quarter of the time it should take. Good episode that. And back to Telstra.

And lastly, when questioned about how many users are still on the soon-to-be-extinct CDMA network, honourable Telstra wouldn't cough up a figure. They can't be too sure anyway, they said, and there are lots of factors affecting the number that could distort it.

One such variable that could send that all-important number off kilter, according to one of the Telstra types on stage, is people who have bought a CDMA phone and keep it in the car and don't use it much.

Good point. I know quite a few people that pay a regular subscription to not use their phone. Good, honest people, who like to keep their SIM active and keep their mobile in the glovebox. Actually, hold on a minute, I don't know anyone like that. Not one.

Still, I guess me and Telstra execs move in different circles. If Telstra says there are gloveboxes in rural Australia bulging with unused phones, so it must be, for Telstra is an honourable telco.

Well, thanks for reading this blog. I've had a word with Telstra's marketing boys and they said apparently I should tell you:

  • Upwardly Mobile is spearheading innovative cleverness.
  • Is "Only from ZDNet Australia!"
  • Was delivered three days ahead of schedule.
  • Has cut its cup of tea requirements by 20 percent in line with a caffeine reduction plan that has buy-in across all management.
  • Is planning to keep beating the living hell out of all blogs, everywhere, on any subject, until the end of fiscal year 2010 and beyond.

It also invented the Internet and can fly, by the way.

Thanks guys.

Topics: Telcos, Broadband, Telstra

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  • nice

    lol. Excellent summary of 7 hours of my life that I want back :)
  • Friends Aussies countryman. Forget the silly sheilas.

    Jo Best that name is a joke for starters.

    Never have I read such idiotic childish garbage in all my life. Jo if this is the best you can dish up, well, I don't know how much they pay you girl but whatever it is it's too much.

    Buy a copy of todays Financial Review and try to bring some facts into your negative articles.
  • Well Jo...

    Not trying to defend Telstra here, perish the thought but CNET Networks Australia are pretty good at their own brand of bull...

    Heres a good one

    "As CNET Networks Australia’s latest online title, AppleSource is the brainchild of our employees, who saw an opportunity to create a dedicated Apple-focused title to cater for the brand’s growing legion of followers."

    So CNETS employess came up with the idea, who normally comes up with companies ideas? the little green men?

    Also reagrds the mobiles in the glovebox I am sure there are some people like that out there, perhaps not in Sydney or the UK though.

    Jo as a new import to the county, can you let us know about your travels to country Australia? How much exposure have you had? It really can be a different ball game out there that I am not sure you understand.

    But Telstra are still roosters ;)
  • Come on Syd

    I love to bag Jo as much as the next person, but try to stick to the facts, her name?!?!

    Take it up with her parents perhaps....

    Please explain how you can call her childish while bagging her name?

    P.S. They wont pay her much Syd, don't worry shes an IT journo... Probably just another 457 import as well;)
  • to anonymous

    what the f**k does your comment have to do with this story?

    if you have a personal issue with cnet or zdnet then at least identify yourself.
  • Once again Jo

    For one I was happy to read one of your Blog's (or is the Bull) until I started with the second line.

    You and your publication are blatant Telstra haterâ??s and I donâ??t know why Telstra still gives you advertising revenue. If I had a say I would not want to advertise on a site that is primarily read by people who love to hate this company.

    You have not lost a reader, its worse, you have lost the confidence of a reader.
  • What does it have to do?

    I think it makes two points related to story:

    One suggesting all companies engage in marketing bull, including her own.

    Another suggesting she really has no understanding of the issues facing Country Australia.

    I hope that is cleared up for you, it seemed quite clear to me but always happy to help.

    Perhaps if you don't agree argue your opposing point of view, but to suggest it has nothing to do with the story makes no sense.
  • Factual Correction

    Jo, a great article which had me chuckling for a while.

    Just to keep you on the straight and narrow. CDMA phones do not have SIM cards. They are identified on the network by their ESN, or electronic serial number.
  • u had me fooled...

    Hey Jo,

    Another Telstra bash, as is typical of your site. I do enjoy reading it as it balances of the NWAT view to the entirely opposite end of the spectrum. I had believed the heading and thouhgt that you might have had some positive things to say about the investor day, out of such a long day of information, it is not surprising that you can find things to make fun of, but where is the balance?

    Telstra are making a point with ADSL 2+, but no mention in your review of Cable Extreme, now available at 30Mb... where's Optus on this speed?

    Good onya Syd... keep it up!
  • Thanks for all the comments

    Yep, companies do engage in marketing bull and whether it's Telstra or a competitor or any other company, where's the harm in pointing that out?

    Also, all the folk getting frothy mouthed about so-called "Telstra bashing": When Telstra indulges in silliness, I blog about it, like I have done here. When the company does something good or interesting, I'll blog about that too, like I have done here:,2000066194,339281846,00.htm

    Thanks to the poster with the tip on CDMA phones' ESN.

    And to the poster who takes issue with my name, gender and nationality - sorry about all that. Genuinely. I'll have the marketing boys come up with a new identity some time before Christmas. The project may even be delivered two months ahead of schedule.
  • Levity not meant to offend.

    Jo... it was not my intention or desire to offend you in any way.

    While not agreeing with your, in my opinion, disparaging article concerning Telstra, I mearly used a play on the "friends Roman countrymen lend me your ear , I come to bury Caesar not to praise him" theme quoted by you.

    Unfortunately I do think that it was your intention to "bury Telstra" and hence my reaction. Referring to your name my jest was that I did not think your report was a Best. It is unknown to me where home might have been for you but I am sure that whatever part of the world it was it would have been diminished by your departure. As to your gender only a retarded neanderthal would seriously disparage gender.

    Remember also that "the evil that men do lives after them, the good is oft interred in their bones".
  • I think..

    Syd's been on the Bundy early today!
  • You forgot one more Jo.

    Tell everyone your IQ is 220 and your age is 21. Multiply your real age by 4 and call it an IQ, divide your IQ by 4 and call it your age. WORST BLOG EVER!!!
  • Don't worry Jo

    They're just jealous cos they cant understand all the big words you use. Get back to brownosing telstra you losers.
  • I tell myself It's not real!

    I was joking when I made the comment that Telstra appear to be living in a parallel universe.

    Now Jo Best is telling me it's true!

    Looks like that great starship BigT is being steered by commander Sol and his 3 amigos into the bit bucket.

    Oh well, recycling is the "in" thing.
  • Flamers

    If I want to read facts I'll read a news page but if I want an interesting and amusing read I'll look to the Blogs. Personally I thought this made good reading regardless of factual evidence or my opinion of Telstra. Some commenters need to earn some manners before they be allowed to psat again IMHO.
  • lala land

    Perhaps you should move to telstra's wonderfully ordered virtual world where every pixel is perfectly placed.

    You can wonder the streets for days without even feeling a heartbeat.
  • Yay For Jo

  • Ya for Jo 2

    I just wish she could talk to me like that on my Next G mobile phone late at night.