Andrew Penn, Telstra Chief Executive, who has barely been in his position for more than 20 months, has been under fire for a number of different reasons. He had promised investors that he was going to expand into the Asian market, but he has managed little in this direction. Forzgers analyst for senior equities, Daniel Mueller, thinks that Mr Penn should concentrate on Telstra’s position in its own market in Australia first.
In 2016, Telstra suffered numerous network outages and has had to commit $250 million into making much needed improvements. It has also promised $3 billion in extra spending to meet increased data demands in the future.
As far as shareholders are concerned they have noticed a share price fall since Penn took over by a whopping 20%.
The situation is particularly difficult for Penn, according to Mr Fadaghi, who is an analyst for Telsyte, a research firm. Penn’s predecessor had done a lot to improve Telstra’s standing in all sectors, including its financial performance, customer service and its relationship with the federal government that had reached an all time low when the previous CEO, Sol Trujillo, held the reins of power. Despite trying to make moves into the Asian market, Australia is still its main source of revenue. It can’t sideline the performance of clear competitors like Vodafone, Optus, TPG Telecom and Amaysim, as they are determined to be kept in the picture.
Improving network performance
Mr Penn issued a statement to the public earlier in the year, admitting that customers have had to face disruptions at some time or another and apologised for the inconvenience it may have caused. He said that the system had been reviewed and weaknesses were going to be addressed. He detailed where the $250 million set aside for boosting the system over the next 12 months or so would go. It would be for 3 major areas;
- Improving the resilience of the mobile network through real time monitoring and ensuring quick system recovery
- Improving resiliency and reliability within the network’s core
- Increasing the present capacity of ADSL broadband to meet the increase in customer demand
The recent annual report released on Telstra’s performance outlined the improvements that the company had made. One of these is the customer experience with a particular emphasis on how customers in their millions are regularly making use of the Telstra 24×7 app®, as well as the My Account portal for tracking their data usage, so that they feel they have more control of their accounts and the services they are paying for.
Online channels are increasingly being used to log in and make any changes to a service and engage in simple transactions like buying additional mobile data, unlocking mobile devices, or asking for payment extensions. The report also said that their services are now available in a number of different languages.
More customers are watching Telstra TV®
Telstra is firm in the belief that their Telstra TV® service is doing well. It is the 1st Australian streaming device which includes Presto, Stan and Netflix. It also provides 5 catch up apps that are free-to-air and movie rentals via BigPond Movies. Telstra Home Broadband is also providing 300,000 Telstra TV devices in homes throughout the country that are now able to access apps like Fox Sports Now**.
Music streaming is now widespread
Telstra provides a 6 month membership to Apple Music to all its retail customers who have a compatible device. It can be activated with any Go Mobile Plan of a duration of twelve or twenty four months. This membership to Apple Music offers access to the complete Apple Music library and worldwide radio.
Wi-Fi network Telstra Air® has grown considerably
At least 1.1 million mobile and home broadband consumers have been activated so that they are able to use Telstra Air, which is the most widespread Wi-Fi network in Australia. Telstra’s fixed broadband users have created nationally more than 500,000 home spots, which customers of Telstra Air have access to throughout the country.
According to the report, there are 4,500 public hotspots, which include some of Telstra’s pink payphones, the majority of Telstra stores and many other outside locations. Customers who have home broadband are also able to use Wi-Fi at 19 million hotspots abroad, due to Telstra’s partnership with Fon, an international Wi-Fi company.
Popular plans get more data
Telstra customers of both mobile and fixed broadband services can access a free subscription to 200GB Microsoft OneDrive+ which allows them to share, store and get access to important documents, photographs and files while in the home or out and about.
Bundles are now better value
New and current broadband customers are now offered 1000GB on Telstra’s large bundle for 2 years. The bundle includes unlimited access to fixed line calls to all local Australian mobiles and standard national lines. Telstra TV with a 6month Presto subscription is included and 3 months of access to the sports feature, Fox Sports Now, as well as a $15 voucher for BigPond Movies. A Telstra Air® Wi-Fi gateway modem is provided to customers who purchase the bundle with a broadband service which is eligible.
Business customers got data top ups
Earlier in 2016 Telstra rolled out special data allowances to its Telstra Business Broadband and BizEssentials® customers as well as Digital Office Technology customers. The aim of this data boost was to assist businesses engage in new work practices like video conferencing or starting an online presence for a retail business.
Any business after May 2016 was also offered double data to customers who signed up business broadband plans.
Telstra got the score to pass the mobile network test with flying colours
Despite the criticisms of poor network performance by Telstra’s customers, CommsDay, Australia’s daily journal for telecommunications and a known international leader with reference to its mobile benchmark P3 communication, has recently released its 2016 edition of the P3 CommsDay Mobile Benchmark test result for mobile networks.
Telstra has proven itself to be a leader, amassing an enviable score of 867 out of a possible 1000. The other major telcos, Optus and Vodafone have done well too. Overall, on a world scale, Australian mobile network performance has scored exceptionally well.