Home Telecoms & NBN Telstra has a lead over NBN in offering ‘superior’ services: report

Telstra has a lead over NBN in offering ‘superior’ services: report

Telstra’s mobile network is well-positioned to offer superior services to those offered by NBN Co, the company building the national broadband network, according to the latest report by a telecoms analyst.

Phil Harpur, senior analyst – Australia for the Budde Report, says that Telstra — through its national Wi-Fi and fibre backbone networks — can offload heavy broadband traffic from its mobile network onto its fibre backbone

Noting Telstra’s position as Australia’s largest telecommunications provider offering a full range of telecom services, Harpur says several strategic investments have strengthened Telstra’s position in services, including the e-health services market.

"Telstra continues to expand into emerging technology areas such as e-Health. Telstra has recently completed 15 acquisitions and partnerships in electronic prescriptions, remote diagnostics, secure health record keeping and telematics.

"Telstra’s mobile network is well-positioned to offer superior services to those offered by the NBN Co. Furthermore, through its national Wi-Fi and fibre backbone networks it can rapidly offload any heavy broadband traffic from its mobile network onto its fibre backbone.

“In total, over three years to June 2017 Telstra invested more than $5 billion into Telstra’s mobile network. Telstra will start rapidly deploying the next generation of LTE technology including voice over LTE, LTE broadcast and the next stage of LTE advanced delivering peak network speeds of up to 600 Mb/s.”

Harpur compared Telstra as the market leader with second placed Optus and Vodafone, the third largest telco.

While noting that the market position of Optus has not changed all that much over the years, Harpur says that it has been the number two telco in the Australian market since its inception some 20 years ago, with an overall market share hovering around 20% to 25%.

“Also unchanged is the fact that the majority of its market share is based on its mobile service,” Harpur says.

And he says that while Optus has been strong in the mobile market it has never been able to challenge Telstra, and during the "Vodafail" period Optus was unable to use that opportunity to significantly increase its market share.

On a more positive note, Harpur says that in September 2017 Optus achieved a world first in pairing pre-5G technologies Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) with 3CC Carrier Aggregation technologies, 3CC Massive MIMO.

On Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) — the number three telco formed following the merger of Vodafone Australia with Hutchison Telecoms — Harpur says its infrastructure has seen a fundamental overhaul, largely due to the successful refarming of its 850MHz concessions which allowed it to convert 3G to LTE across the country.

“Vodafone Australia has begun committing major resources to evaluating a potential fixed-line play over NBN. It is also targeting leadership in the next generation of mobile, announcing that it will start running 5G lab trials and demonstrations,” Harpur says.

“Vodafone Australia is also looking to take leadership in the growing Internet of Things space, drawing on the expertise of the Vodafone Group globally.”

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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).