Telstra confirms 5G network on its way

Telstra has reaffirmed its commitment to bringing super-fast 5G data delivery technology by the end of the decade.
Written by Chris Duckett on

The next-generation 5G network, confirmed by Telstra to be on its way, is expected to deliver speeds of up to 10GB per second with less power consumption.

At Telstra's annual results briefing on Thursday, chief executive Andrew Penn praised the network as a solution to support booming data usage.

Devices like smart TVs, cars, and a vast array of home appliances are increasingly being taken online, according to Penn.

"[5G] addresses the world of an 'Internet of Things'," he said. "You can imagine a world in 2020, where almost anything that could be connected will be connected."

The country's largest telco introduced its intentions for 5G by 2020 in March this year at Mobile World Congress, when Telstra announced a partnership with Ericsson.

Telstra group managing director of networks Mike Wright said at the time that the two companies will work together and test out 5G as the standards and technologies are developed over the next five years.

"5G isn't completely defined yet, but it needs a lot of thinking around the standards.We'll be a 5G test lead with Ericsson," Wright said.

Rollout of the 5G network would be done through upgrades of the existing 4G network, with Telstra taking steps already in switching on its LTE-Advanced network, which can theoretically carry speeds of up to 450Mb per second.

"It's still a long way away, but I can assure you that we are right at the cutting edge of these discussions," Penn said on Thursday.

Thodey takes home AU$14.5 million

Former Telstra chief executive David Thodey, who publicly said that his salary was too big to justify, took home AU$14.5 million in his last year on the job. The former Telstra CEO's paypacket increased by AU$1.7 million in 2014-15, despite stepping down in May after six years at the helm of Australia's largest telco.

His take-home pay of AU$14.5 million included AU$7.5 million in long-term incentives, fixed remuneration of AU$2.65 million, and short-term incentives of AU$4.3 million.

New chief executive Andrew Penn, who was previously the company's chief financial officer, received AU$4.08 million for the year.

Thodey's paypacket makes him one of the highest-paid chief executives in Australia for 2014-15, though he said in April that his salary was indefensible when compared to that of other employees.

"I get paid a lot of money [and] my options, should they vest, are worth tens of millions of dollars," he told Fairfax Media at the time. "But I can't sit here and defend my salary against all the guys who are out there working every day, and I wouldn't try to.

"I think there's a real issue with income disparity between what an average person gets and some of the really big salaries."

During Thodey's tenure, Telstra shares more than doubled to hit 13-year highs.

Yesterday, Telstra revealed net profit of AU$4.29 billion on revenues of AU$25.8 billion for the financial year, resulting in a dip in net profit of AU$260 million, or 5.8 percent year on year, from last year's AU$4.55 billion.

Australia's dominant telco attributed its drop in net profit to the sale of its Hong Kong mobile business, increased price competition from its rivals, and significant investment in its mobile 4G network.

"The 2015 financial year saw Telstra continue to perform strongly, growing revenues, adding fixed and mobile customer services, and continuing to invest in our network advantage," Penn said in a statement.

Telstra now has 16.7 million mobile retail customers, increasing its mobile revenue by 10 percent to AU$10.7 billion in FY14-15. Conversely, revenue fell by 2 percent in its fixed-line business to AU$6.94 billion, with the company reporting it now has 6 million fixed-line voice customers after 264,000 disconnected their service over the prior year.

Telstra's largest competitor, Optus, announced its June quarter results yesterday, posting a net profit of AU$196 million on revenues of AU$2.3 billion.

Over the quarter, Optus added 38,000 post-paid customers, and now can claim a total of 9.38 million customers. Mobile revenue came in at AU$1.21 billion, an increase of 5 percent.

Its fixed-line revenue grew 3 percent, with Optus now having 54,000 NBN customers, and a total of 1.04 million broadband customers.

Optus is set to be overtaken as the second-largest fixed-line telco in Australia once TPG completes its AU$1.5 billion takeover of iiNet. The acquisition is yet to be approved by the ACCC and court, and when completed, will see the merged entity have a customer base of 1.7 million.

The ACCC is slated to publish its decision regarding the takeover next week.

With AAP


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