Telstra cracks a million mobiles, but slows

Telstra's boom in mobile phone subscribers has allowed it to top an extra one million customers this financial year, after scoring 364,000 new customers in just the first three months of 2011.

Telstra's boom in mobile phone subscribers has allowed it to top an extra one million customers this financial year, after scoring 364,000 new customers in just the first three months of 2011.

David Thodey

David Thodey(Credit: Josh Taylor/ZDNet Australia)

While this number is lower than the 555,000 added in the previous three months, indicating a slowdown in mobile subscriber net adds, Telstra's growth in the mobile phone market is still going strong, according to results released by CEO David Thodey at the Macquarie Australian Investor Conference in Melbourne yesterday. He said that the telco had added a total of 1.2 million new mobile customers in the three quarters of this financial year.

Of the 364,000, Telstra added another 197,000 new post-paid handheld customers, a massive increase compared to the 7000 added in the corresponding three-month period in 2010.

Telstra also experienced a slight slowdown in the fixed-line broadband market, adding 46,000 new customers to its BigPond service in the third quarter of this financial year, down from 80,000 in the second quarter. Despite the fall, the number is still a vast improvement from the 3000 customer loss it reported in the corresponding period in 2010.

Combined, the quarters give the telco 186,000 new fixed-line customers so far this financial year; however, the company noted that fourth quarter figures will include the loss of 65,000 "non-revenue generating" services.

Other figures released by Telstra reveal that the company has sold an additional 67,000 T-Box and T-Hub products, bringing this year's total to 281,000 units sold. The company's mobile broadband business also added 206,000 new customers, bringing the total to 711,000.

Earlier this week, Telstra CEO David Thodey announced that the company would spend $600 million over the next five years to upgrade 1600 exchanges with Quality-of-Service in order to allow business customers to use Voice over IP (VoIP) services as part of the company's Digital Business package, designed to prepare business customers for the transition to the National Broadband Network (NBN).