This cost cutting was basically the only option out for Telstra in its current difficult situation.
Over the last 30 years it has tried a lot of different things. I was at the launch of their Asia campaign in Geneva in 1992 where they claimed that by 2000, 25% of revenues would come from Asia. Obviously that never eventuated. They have also invested billions of dollars in dozens of IT companies trying to turn themselves into tech company, again with very little to show for. Under Thodey a renewed IT approach was launched, especially aimed at e-health, while they have made good progress, overall it hasn’t contributed that much to its revenue/value.
Under Penn it was more or less back to basics, back to the core business, but thanks to a floundering NBN the company is again unable to build a value added business big enough to compensate for a decline in the traditional (core) business.
What we now also see is very aggressive competition in the mobile market (eg TPG, but also others). So without significant new revenue streams and further pressure on the core business the future looks bleak.
However, the company is a survivor and is not under threat as such, but its value will most likely further diminish.
Things could change if decisions are made about the future of the NBN. Will Telstra be able to buy all of some of the business and under what conditions. It might strengthen their core business but it is doubtfull how much they can improve the overall value of the company. On the other hand further and more competition could also be the outcome.
So yes what to do. It looks like that after 30 years of trying new money from either Asia or technology will be very hard to achieve. Hanging on to its core business and cut costs and stay efficient and is now the best scenario that will work for the company.