Impelus to seek injunction against Telstra third-party billing decision

Following Telstra's decision to cut off third-party billing partners, Impelus has announced its intention to seek relief from the Supreme Court of NSW citing EDITDA impact of up to AU$680,000.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Direct carrier billing (DCB) services provider Impelus has announced its intention to seek injunctive relief from the Supreme Court of New South Wales to prevent Telstra from banning its services.

Impelus, which provides mobile and digital communications products and services, said it had "without success" attempted to resolve the issue with Telstra.

"Impelus' strong position is that Telstra has a continuing obligation to provide it with the services after March 2, 2018, and intends on initiating proceedings in the Supreme Court of New South Wales to seek injunctive or expedited final relief to prevent Telstra from ceasing to provide it with the services," Impelus said in a statement to the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) on Friday.

"The company is extremely disappointed with Telstra's decision after having shared such a long and successful relationship in DCB for more than four years."

Impelus added that its DCB operations are "non-core", but that the sudden cessation of services by Telstra will materially impact its FY18 earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) to the tune of between AU$550,000 and AU$680,000, as well as its revenue.

"The directors remain committed to a resolution of this issue, but are of the view that the commencement of proceedings in the Supreme Court is in the best interests of all shareholders at this time to preserve the Company's rights that have been breached by Telstra," Impelus concluded.

Telstra had announced in December that it would halt DCB services.

"From 3 December 2017, you will not be able to subscribe to new digital content, apps, or services from other companies through Premium SMS or Telstra Carrier Billing. This is because we're phasing out Premium Service subscriptions," Telstra said at the time.

Still being charged to customers' Telstra bills are Google Play, Windows Store, AirG Chat, AFL or NRL apps, Apple Music, Foxtel Now, Telstra TV, Telstra Play, Caller Tones, other Telstra subscription content, and one-time charges such as online voting, competition entries, and donations.

This followed the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network (ACCAN) in July publishing a survey that showed 12 percent of respondents had experienced "unexpected" third-party billing on their mobile phone bills.

These were usually as a result of purchasing apps, playing games, entering competitions, voting in TV shows, and receiving news updates, ACCAN said, with more than a third of respondents saying they had not been informed of, consented to, confirmed, or understood the resultant charge.

"Applied to the mobile customer base of Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone, this 12 percent equates to almost 1.9 million people who could have received unexpected charges on their mobile bills. We estimate that collectively, consumers may have been charged as much as AU$20 million unexpectedly in the last six months," ACCAN director of Policy Una Lawrence said at the time.

"ACCAN is calling for better protections to be put in place so that consumers don't get caught out with unexpected charges on their mobile bills."

Related Coverage

Ericsson completes 5G carrier solution

Ericsson has upgraded its radio portfolio using the 5G NR standards set by 3GPP in December, claiming a complete carrier solution.

Qualcomm touts OEM, carrier wins for global 5G launches in 2019

The chip giant announced that its Snapdragon X50 modem chipset was chosen by 19 global operators for upcoming mobile 5G trials.

T-Mobile: Q4 strong, but can Un-carrier mojo last forever?

T-Mobile's outlook for customer additions may indicate that its momentum may be slowing a smidge.

Mobile device computing policy (Tech Pro Research)

Mobile devices offer convenience and flexibility for the modern workforce-but they also bring associated risks and support issues. This policy establishes guidelines to help ensure safe and productive mobility.

Optus rolls out smart cells for Sydney botanic garden

Sydney's Royal Botanic Garden and Domain are banking on Optus' small cells and ENE-HUB's smart pole designs to bring 4G coverage, free Wi-Fi, and digital services to the area.

NBN capacity purchase increase leads to 1.53Mbps per user

Five RSPs have now connected to all 121 NBN points of interconnect, with the ACCC also recording a marginal increase per user in CVC capacity purchased from 1.11Mbps to 1.53Mbps.

Optus adds 'record' 127k mobile customers

Optus has announced net profit of AU$262 million for the quarter on revenue of AU$2.33 billion, with the telco attributing this to the addition of 127,000 post-paid mobile customers.

Samsung, Cisco to trial 5G fixed wireless access in Romania

Samsung, Cisco, and Orange will conduct a month-long 5G fixed wireless access trial in Romania in the second half of this year.

The 5G revolution is here: What business needs to know (TechRepublic)

TechRepublic's Conner Forrest explains three things IT pros need to know about 5G, next-gen high-speed wireless tech.

5G mobile networks: A cheat sheet (TechRepublic)

As LTE networks become increasingly saturated, mobile network operators are planning for the 5G future. Here is what business professionals and mobile users need to know about 5G.

Editorial standards