Ever since David Thodey took over the reins at Australia’s largest telco, Telstra has embraced the new direction being taken by the telecoms industry, based on a ubiquitous, robust, affordable infrastructure that can be used to lift telecommunications into the next stage, where the business opportunities will be rather different from those of the past. This is the brave new world of internet media, Internet of Things, where a range of new industry sectors will take centre-stage. These include healthcare, education, energy, commerce and media.
Telstra’s transitional process clearly shows that it shares the vision that has been developed around the national broadband network (NBN). But not only that, the company is now emerging as a leader in the industry – putting its new approach into practice, with a focus on the customer, innovation and new business opportunities.
First we place these developments within the broader telco industry transformation. Since the arrival of the internet, the focus of the industry has moved from providing defined end-products to becoming a facilitator in the development of a range of new products, companies, and indeed new industries.
Unfortunately ever since this change took place, the incumbents have fought tooth and nail against these developments. They wanted to maintain their traditional products for as long as possible and mainly for that reason most have continued to defend their monopolistic structures.
They lost the internet battle with the newly-emerging digital and social media companies; and they made a similar mistake in relation to mobile broadband, where they lost the battle to the smartphone companies.
The question now is whether Telstra as well as the other telcos will be able to embrace the developments around the digital economy. Trans-sector services such as e-health, tele-education, e-government, smart grids, IoT (M2M), all require a utilities-based wholesale infrastructure that is separated from the retail services that will be carried over them.
We are also very critical of the strategy of Telstra Media and we believe that in its current format is heading for more disastrous developments.
IoT, M2M, bandwidth, ARPU, e-health, tele-education, smart grids, analytics, iPhone, smartphone, OTT, m-payment, e-payment, smart cards, e-commerce, mobile broadband, trans-sector, Infrastructure, wholesale, retail, Internet of Things.
Companies covered in this report:
Telstra, Vodafone, FOXTEL, SingTel Optus, Sensis.