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Australia’s top three Telcos face growing competition

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Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications provider offering a full range of telecom services throughout Australia. The company provides basic access services to most homes and businesses, local and long-distance telephone call services, and mobile and internet services. Wholesale services are also provided to ISPs and RSPs while advertising and subscription television services are provided through subsidiary companies. Several strategic investments undertaken have strengthened Telstra’s position in the e-health services market.

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.

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 company. 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.

Optus provides a range of communications services that include mobile, national and long-distance services, local and international telephony, business network services, internet and satellite services, subscription TV and digital media services.

The market position of Optus has not changed all that much over the years. It has been the number two telco in the Australian market since its inception some twenty years ago, with an overall market share hovering around the 20%-25%. Also unchanged is the fact that the majority of its market share is based on its mobile service.

While Optus has been strong in the mobile market it has never been able to challenge Telstra, and during the ‘Vodafail’ period Optus has not been able to use that opportunity to significantly increase its market share.

In September 2017 Optus achieved a world’s first achievement in pairing pre-5G technologies Massive MIMO (Multiple Input Multiple Output) with 3CC Carrier Aggregation technologies, 3CC Massive MIMO.

Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) was formed following the merger of Vodafone Australia with Hutchison Telecoms, each entity owning half of the new company. Hutchison and Vodafone now operate under the business name VHA, with products still marketed under the Vodafone brand.

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

Vodafone has begun a large half-decade network transformation project: virtualizing both its core and IP networks in its transition to a 5G environment. It is planning to launch fixed broadband service via the NBN in selected areas by 2018 and has been investing heavily to establish its own NBN infrastructure. BuddeComm surmises that if Vodafone did not enter the fixed-line business despite the obvious opportunities in place it may become a target for fixed-line players.

For more information see – Australia – Telco Company Profiles – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone