Australia Post has flagged plans to resell mobile and broadband services, with the organisation promoting its brand trust and its Australia-wide physical presence as key selling points.
The government-owned company recruited Optus' Head of Regulatory Affairs Maha Krishnapillai last year to become Australia Post's GM for telecommunications products and services, and since then, speculation has been rife that the company would look to move into the telecommunications industry.
Speaking before the Communications Day Summit in Melbourne today, Krishnapillai said that, with 4,500 outlets across Australia and being the second most-trusted brand in Australia, just behind Apple, Australia Post would have a big role to play in the "digital economy" and in bringing digital services to people in rural and remote areas. And while he said that broadband and mobile would be a part of this, it would not be a case of Australia Post building towers or laying fibre, but about reselling the services other companies offer.
"It's not about us becoming an infrastructure player. We will not be building base stations, or fibre, or other things like that. We will certainly be working very closely with datacentre providers and the cloud, but we're also going to be leveraging what we see as our strengths, which is clearly about retail and brand."
He said that Australia Post's advantage was that the brand trust is much higher than those already in the telecommunications industry, and by having 4,500 outlets, Australia Post can offer the face-to-face customer experience that can't be matched by online services.
"That clearly is our niche. It leverages our brand trust, our retail footprint, and doesn't try and play in areas we don't have expertise in," he said.
"In areas where the NBN will be, we will offer broadband and mobile products through those areas, and our services will certainly be turbo-charged, I think, by the growth of the NBN," he said.
Krishnapillai indicated that Australia Post would likely work with a number of providers.
Australia Post has already signed on with Telstra to provide its Digital MailBox product through Telstra's cloud platform.