Optus performed well in the market during the period in which Telstra took its eyes off retail competition. It also embarked on a far more sophisticated approach to customer acquisition, and its head start in the iPhone market was one of the best marketing coups in the industry.
Yet in recent years Telstra has become far more aggressive, and with the changes that have been taking place in the industry around the announcement of the NBN, Optus is facing challenging times.
Optus will need all of its marketing skills to retain its market position. Sophisticated customer marketing based on new technologies that will assist it to create lifelong customer relationships will be the next battleground in the retail market, and Optus is well-positioned to seize the opportunities that these new technologies offer. It will be assisted by the ongoing growth in smartphones, since that will allow it to maximise its relationships with its customers.
The mobile sector clearly remains the company's key market, though both its market share and ARPU are under pressure. At the same time, more investment is needed to stay ahead in the all-important mobile broadband market. Optus has kept up with Telstra, with both operators securing valuable spectrum in the 700MHz band at auction in early 2014. Both have been granted trial licenses ahead of the official release of spectrum in January 2015. Optus is also committed to matching Telstra's 98% population coverage with LTE by the end of 2016. These developments will keep Optus at the forefront of the mobile data segment, and will it help retain valuable customers as they look to network capability and availability for their broadband and data services.