Telstra T-Hub launches

Will help address declining PSTN revenue amd customer loyalty issues, telco says
Telstra's T-Hub.

Telstra's T-Hub.

Telstra has followed through on its promise to deliver the ‘fourth screen’ into Australian homes with the launch of its T-Hub device.

First flagged in February last year at Telstra’s Investor Day, the device combines a wireless handset and public switched telephone network (PSTN) calling service with 7-inch touchscreen and access to the Internet.

Users can receive phone calls and text messages, visit Facebook and YouTube, play music, listen to radio stations and view Telstra services powered by Sensis.

The unit itself is $299 outright or it can be bought as part of one of 15 bundled options.

As reported by Computerworld Australia, maintaining fixed line revenues have been a major challenge for Telstra – in February the company flagged that revenue from PSTN services had declined $222 million year on year during the last half.

According to Telstra director consumer marketing, Jenny Young, the new device would help address the decline.

“T-Hub has been designed to increase the relevance of fixed line and the home phone, absolutely,” she said. “The better the usability, the clearer the functionality, the more encouragement there is to use the home phone more.”

The new functions included one-touch calling from a user's address book or for an entry in the Yellow Pages, the ability to transfer calls around the home, and increased ease to send text messages, Young said.

Increasing customer loyalty was also a consideration in designing the T-Hub, Young said, citing a year’s development and design, 1000 hours of product research, and a 1500-user trial to get the device right.

“Any customer who enjoys a product and service will absolutely show greater loyalty,” she said.

Despite having to find a place in households already saturated with devices, the T-Hub also has to contend with being limited to working exclusively on Telstra's fixed line and broadband networks – limiting its attractiveness to customers who may wish to use the device in future on a rival carrier’s network.

“I still think customers will embrace the T-Hub and its capabilities… there are a lot of pages and services on the T-Hub which aren’t metered so you get really good ongoing value of the T-Hub,” Young said.

Users will be able to send text messages from the T-Hub, but the device would not undercut mobile phone revenues, according to the telco.

“We’ve had fixed text messaging [from a home phone] for some years now and the diversification of hoe customers communicate with each other has also been with us for some time,” Young said, “We are very happy for customers to text of a T-hub or a mobile.”

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Comments

andre

1

To little to late, why on earth release a highly integrated device such as this which is effectively an iPhone bolted to a table via exclusivity to Telstra fixed line.... this is a product for 2007...

I will never buy one.. my mobile does it all and I can walk out of the house with it.... in fact I highly recommend ditching Telstra line rental and fixed line altogether, it costs way to much when compared to the option available today....

A killer product for last decade..

JB

2

Here, Here...

Let it go Telstra, land lines will eventually become a very small part of your business and your control over the network will go with it. Better start thinking a little more outside the box as opposed to coming up with last ditch attempts to save elements of your business

David

3

Agreed, this highlights yet again the mindset of a company that refuses to look ahead and plan for trends, and only wishes to milk something to death.
I am intrigued to see how Telstra looks in 10 years time, once the NBN is roll out, and fixed line services have plummeted even further.
I have been using VOIP and Mobile, and have been free of any form of line rental for years, and its a growing trend , either with VOIP access or Mobile phones, and several large companies have moved over to a VOIP system, and this trend will only grow with NBN.
Telstra cant even get in line with general trends with pricing models , or are very slow to catch up, depending on legacy sales and upgrades way to much, and this new product of theirs highlights to a great degree who they plan to market this to, 40 to 60 year old legacy customers with shares, so they are self constrained with out moded concepts and plans.

Geoff

4

I purchased a Telstra T-Hub on 21 April 2010. It arrived Friday 23 April 2010. The Order Reference is 704458.

After unpacking, I followed the installation wizard to setup the unit.

AT Stage 3, it attempts to do a software update. After a very slow download, it reports the software download failed; “Try Again” or “Exit Installation”.

Exiting Installation is not a good idea – the unit is not fully functional. Try again often results in a lock up (only 10 seconds according to the prompt – it lies) while it attempts to restart, which it will do after a few minutes.

Again, the next result varies, but the end result is always the same – no software update.

I rang Telstra and was finally put through to the section that handles T-Hub problems.

I was told that this is a known problem and reporting the issue would not result in solution.

The consultant suggested I try various combinations of trying to update the software – all of which have not been successful. I could return the unit, but that would be a turnaround of 2 weeks with no guarantee of success.

If I continued to try and get the update, eventually it is usually successful – “try again in the evening when there is led internet traffic”

I do not think that this attitude is very good. I have been supplied a product with known problems and no guarantee of success. Telstra has admitted it has no solution for the problem. Telstra does not want to do anything about the problem. “Ring back if you don’t have any success”.

scarnon

5

geoff - i bought one in store yesterday and am also having issues. mine got past the update but i have since had the unit turn itself off and when i woke up this morning it was frozen at 826 when it was actually 1030... this made me call the store i received it from but they did not answer. i am a telstra employee in a callcentre though i do not deal with this product. i would advise that the answer you received is not good enough considering the business is currently so focussed for customer resolution at the moment. its what i work for every day. this is a great product and i am using it right now though i donot feel comfotable keeping this unit as i have already had issues in the first 24 hours! i will be following this up instore myself looking for a resolution but i would like you to send me your email address so i can attempt to help out internally by looking at fasttracking a return as a worst case scenario. please email me at scarnonm8@bigpond.com so i can look at making your customer experience better!

thans geoff

Stephen Reberger

6

I had similar problem. Mine did not work at all out of the box. I was told when I took it back to the shop that it was policy for it to be sent away to be checked out. I told them that it was my legal right to either receive a replacement unit or a complete refund, and that in these circumstance I required a complete refund and to cancel the payment plan. Them then looked scared, made phone call and hey presto I walked out with an new unit.
The new unit worked. I had a similar problem to Geoff when it tried to update the software. I let it go and had a play with some of the features and then started from scratch later on. On this attempt the software updated easily.

The unit now seams to garble the graphics icons from time to time although if you know where to press it still works. A reboot then fixes the icons until next time. I have not yet had the 3 hours I expect it will take free to ring the help line but hope it will be fixed in a future upgrade.

If I have no satisfaction with the phone call I will consider taking it back for a full refund.

James

7

After having the BOB device from iiNet I was excited to check out this product. I am an IT Manager and often skeptical of these all in wonder devices and potential for technical problems, however BOB worked perfectly from day dot, so I picked up one of these. After unboxing and hooking up the device it was problematic trying to process the updates, after calling THUB support I had typical Testra experience; on the phone for 30 minutes without any kind of resolution or assistance. Since I have had it working, its been locking up, freezing, having graphical issues etc. Returning it proved troublesome but after some hour of complaining I got a refund. I have switched back to my VOIP service over iiNet which just works. There are a long list of other VOIP compatible devices such as digital radios that do the same or more without incident. There is no real way to recommend this product as the device is poorly supported and buggy and the plan it comes attached to is bested by the standard Optus offering.

Dave

8

This product can really only appeal to people currently doing business with Telstra, nameley becuase they are the only people probably prepared to buy such a flakey device at an overinflated price point. Optus offer a better home phone offering when it comes to call charges and data plans (not to mention many other smaller ISPs and Telco). As the previous post has stated, you can purchase a range of devices that work over the internet to provide a better end result to the user than the Thub, with voice, video, sms, facebook and youtube. Furthermore these devices arent locked to the Telstra network and most proabbly work out of the box, plus if it doesnt, you can easily return it for a refund. This is the right product had it launched without being broken and was realease back in 2007/8.

Peter

9

I have The T HuB and have been relatively frustrated with the performance, I have had all the same experiences as above but have not bothered to call the help line or return to store as yet, the softwear update did work on mine by about the 20th go, but then the install did not work with the code i was given to activate the message bank, had to contact Telstra via email to receive new code. The freezing up and shutting itself down is the biggest pain as it seems to struggle when you push it a bit, especially entering contacts etc.., I have also found that if you use a thumb drive in the USB for photos etc... it cannot handle more than 20 shots, it need a bit more grunt.

Hiran

10

Had similar update issues as above, but found a work around.

At “Try Again” or “Exit Installation” exit the installation and shut the unit down using the button on the top LHS of the unit. Wait a short while and restart the unit, it will attemt to update the software again, it updated around 80% then refused with the “Try Again” or “Exit Installation”, selected try again and it successfully updated.

Paul

11

After following all instructions on setup my Thub froze. I was told by Thub support that I needed new software which had only just been released fixing the problem.The guy had me check the version and said oh thats the one that has been fixed. You need to power it off and back on again. several hours later it froze again and I got the same response from Thub support and the day after and so on for a week. They finally airfrieghted a new one to me on Friday and that has done exactly the same all weekend. Obviously they have a tech department that doesn't test their own bug fixes or bench test Thubs before releasing them. What a crock this is.

Not a happy camper

12

There is a huge problem with the T HUB locking up & freezing.

Mine went back for a refund, after getting the most pathetic runaround known to mankind for a month. ( At one point, mine went back and was returned as 'No fault found' - which means that the testing process was brief and flawed.

You should read the common thread in the responses on CNET. Lot's of people with the same common issue.

http://www.cnet.com.au/telstra-t-hub-339302375.htm

Calvin

13

I too purchased a T-Hub and have been having ongoing problems with it. Everyday I have to turn it off and back on again at least once in order to reset it so that I can get off a screen that freezes, get icons back, stop it from making weird noises, get the clock working again or some other weird and varied problem. I am currently seeking a replacement, but given the issues described above I have the feeling the replacement will have exactly the same problems.

Maybe it is time for a product recall... I just can't believe the sheer frequency and variety of the problems I have encountered with it. I have seen each of the problems mentioned above and more! If they trialled it with so many people surely they must have been aware of these problems before they launched it.

M

14

I purchased my T-Hub in may, and it is perfect for what i need to do, which is quick internet banking in the morning before i start work and check my emails/facebook.. also great speakers which i can plug ,my 160gb iPod into the usb dock and play my favourite songs and videos and have it as a digital clock and a digital photo-frame.. its great for what i need it to do.. and anyone whose winging about the price, $299 isn't that much when it includes everything it has.. average price of an iPod dock or decent sound system, that's already $100 or $200 depending on quality, digital photo frame, another $40 or $50 depending on size, digital clock, $20. also.. it has the yellow pages and white pages and 1234, right in front of your face for easy access.. touch icons are about the size of a 5c piece, which is a lot bigger than most touch phones.. it also includes shortcuts for internet, news, finance, local weather, internet radio, sports, facebook, myspace and twitter, also whereis and food and recipes. $300... isn't that much for whats included... but for those who cant afford it or thing 300 is a lot of money.. im sorry you're missing out on a great deal.. the t hub has great wireless coverage throughout my whole house.. no matter where i stand, downstairs or upstairs. metal kickback stand when not on charge, great for listening to music... and NO it is not screwed into the table.. completely portable :)

Charles

15

extremely true, a great home based unit. telstra are life savers.

katie

16

After moving address and moving my servies over I was sold a bundle which included a t-hub only to be rang three weeks later and told the bundle had expired and I could no longer be on that plan.I am still awaiting a response as too wether i will be returning my t-hub to telstra. but mine is also freezing and saying a message that is is out of memory.We rang the tech support to be told to turn it off and back on!I think i will be returning it and telling them to shove their bundle where the sun don't shine.They should recall them.

Tracey Wheeler

17

Bought my T-Hub on 29th April, the touchscreen stopped working on 13th May. I'm still waiting for a replacement! Have been given the grand run-around by Telstra, and have contacted the ombudsman today. Guess what - got told to ring Telstra again! Still no resolution, no 'case manager' available. They have 10 days to fix problem before ombudsman takes it further. Very fed up

DenDownUnder

18

I've had mine since the date of its release and yes, I too have experienced most of the problems listed by prior viewers.
Nonetheless, I rate this as a useful bit of technology for the home.
I like having Internet access at chair-side without having to lug a laptop around or squint to see my iPhone screen.
I've even asked whether or not I can simply replace my extensions in other rooms with more of these units.
I do wish it had an inbuilt camera and the ability to do video calls.
Previous reviewers are absolutely correct in criticizing TELSTRA's phone support...it needs the close attention of a systems analyst and subsequent revamping...EG: canned introductions and directions are too long...waiting times for a live operator are way too long...de-specialization is needed to make more operators able to handle more types of complaints. After running the gauntlet of directions and re-directions and then an interminable wait to finally speak to a live person, it is infuriating to be told, "I'm sorry but I can't help you with that problem. Please hold while I transfer you to someone who can." And the entire process is repeated. Aaaarrrrrrgh!
But...back to the T-Hub...I look forward to more tweaking from the TELSTRA techs to sort out current teething problems and the future addition of more features; EG in-built camera, MMS and video capability & more internal memory.

Meagan

19

We have been with Telstra for many years, mobile home line and Bigpond. However when we inquired about adding to T-hub to our already existing plan we were swiftly told that we are on the “old system” ?? We had no idea what the “old system” and the “new system” was about. We were then told that it could take months to change us over and that we could have filled a form out months ago to do so, un be known’s to us. Yes we could buy a T-hub out right abut when we first entered the Telstra shop (Rosny Tasmania) we were told we could pay only $11 a month on our home line bill and own it with in 24 months which seemed like a great deal. But as we are on the “old system” this was not an option. After lengthy calls to Telstra still no progress and I am appalled at the service and communications we have receive from the self proclaimed Communication experts… No impressed !!

Brendan

20

When Telstra fixes the lock up problems and makes a unit with a bit more grunt( thats the problem) they should recall and replace all they have sold , as they market this thing with all these features but it cant take it and locks up several times a day ,and not enough memory to run opera

Jayne

21

I have had T Hub for 8 weeks, I have spent numerous hours on phone to T Hub techs but nothing gained, I lose calls with the crummy handsets which they say they will send out a replacement but I know it will be the same as I bought and extra handset and it is just as useless.It freezes numerous times daily and we have to reset the damn thing.The handsets do not have speed dial and echoe badly. What is my legal right when this product does not work as advertised. Telstra told me today I cannot get a refund on product and we have ben loyal Telstra customers for years. I am about to throw it in a box and plug in the old Uniden phones.

danny

22

all the above.and many more.not happy jan

t-boy

23

i walked out of the shop last week with t-hub & t box and was excited today when i expected the modem to arrive at home. i opened up the package and they sent me another tbox instead of the modem!!!! i had to go buy my own modem and telstra will reimburse. now that i have read the reviews i am not looking forward to hooking it all up 2night.

michelle

24

We have just purchased t Hub (15-7-10)
we are still setting up...intstalling etc
But We have a bad echo and people keep asking me have I put them on speeker phone!!!!
How is this problem fixed please ???

Matto

25

Had the issue everyone above had - with the couldn't connect to modem.
I just exited the installation, set up the router through settings, did a software update through settings and rebooted. It then came back to the install screen, but everything worked this time.

I CAN'T GO ON YOUTUBE! It annoys me. I click the icon, it loads Opera but within five seconds of opening youtube.com/xl I get "Not enough memory" and forces me to quit. Anyone know how to fix this?

Andrew

26

I have had this device for several weeks, it took me about 3 days to set up. The pass word i was given for voice mail would not be accepted and had to go through a lot of help to get that far. It freezes up all the time and I have missed important messages only when checking on web mail on my computer that there had been a message left. I have had to reboot the phone every morning to refresh it. If it needs rebooting every day it should be built in say at 3 in the morning. or else fix the problem.

D Newman

27

I am suprised there hasnt been a product recall on this, unless they are expecting a miracle firmware patch, but seeing as the dam thing is a bit hit and miss on even start up, i,m still suprised.
The amount of bad comments on many dfferent forums on this product is building a terrible viral marketing issue for Telstra, but seeing as that has never bothered them to much in the past on their whole image, I can see now why there hasnt been a product recall.

steve smith

28

you are wright telstra dos'nt care and has no intrest in fixing the problem. They will do what they always do, run you around call centers in india until you give up. Yes i fell for it again and bought a hub from telstra, locked in for 24 months, may as well flush money down the loo.

D Newman

29

I want to get my hands on one and have a look inside, or has anyone seen a site with internal shots of the hub that can post a link.
Would love to see if its just a Telstra mobile phone , hooked up to 2 speakers and a larger screen wired in.

Kasta

30

The most frustrating aspect of my new phone is the inability to answer the phone when it rings because the screen is frozen. This is a JOKE. It is a phone in the first instance and I cannot answer incoming calls. I wish I had never bought this product. I loathe it.

Matthew

32

We have orderd the Thub through a bundle package, it has not arrived yet but after reading all these revies i am not looking forward to recieving it.

what are my legal rights if the product is faulty when i get it like most of them seeem to be?

can i demand a full refund and can i demand that i not get charged for breach of contract?

the bundle plan is on a 24 month contract?

D Newman

33

if you have not recieved the goods, you should be within your right to cancel without to much hassle

D.Garland

34

Oh No ! I was talked into getting one today, They told me I could return it within ten days UNOPENED for a full refund . Or if it was within three months it would cost $100. Best get straight onto it Hey.

Fleur

35

I really wish I had read this before purchasing a T-Hub. We have only had ours a few weeks and this morning neither it nor the phone are working. After calling Telstra and putting in a complaint I was told they would send a new one out. Obviously they must be innundated with problems as the Tech support guy did not even ask me what the problem was. Just an instant reissuing of a new set. This same person also told me that the T-Hub is rought with problems and he would personally never purchase one or reccomend them. In his own words they are CRAP.

Ozchick

36

I was thinking about getting a t-hub after being sent some info on the bundles... after reading all the negative feedback here, i think I'll give it a miss and get myself an iphone4 instead.

Terry Druery

37

Ours is sitting in a cupboard as it never worked. The updates made things worse. I will get my money back one way or another. Terrible device!

Rachel

38

thanks for everyone's feedback, I was on the verge of getting a T-hub but will save my money. Unfortunately Telstra are the ony ADSL2x company in my area so to get a cheaper internet service I get stuck with them - so much for monopolies! Cant wait for the NBN it will make the world of difference...

Scuzzie

39

Hi, I have had some off the problems above,had the T-Hub replaced,updates have worked fine....Today 27 December 2010 the phone did not work,rebooted the unit like many many times before,because of freezing or what ever.This time it Dl the new update..rebooted...Now it sits on the front loading page,saying"Please wait while this system starts up" yeah hours later and turned on and off 6 times or more,nothing,it is now stuffed and not working...great Job telstra...Like Rachel we can only get telstra,but worse we get basic ADSL only,but pay the same as someone receiving an ADSL2+ plan...telstra say well your area can not receive ADSL2 so you get ADSL. I have the 200Gig plan for $89...I get max 2.2Gig line speed of my 8Gig, Telstra, that is fine,we consider 100kbps DL as acceptable. You can't Win they don't care,run you around there call centres where no one speaks English,only something out of bad boolywood film. Worst Luck we have no choice but to use them and I have their worthless crappy shares that went down faster then a Led balloon and is as worthless as their Service. We have worse then 3rd world Internet & I think the new NBN will be no better,they have just taken over the telstra copper Service and Telstra have laid some other lines over top,not sure what,but I am sure we will find out. I get laughed at on forums all over the world when they hear,the poos speeds and how much we pay for Internet in Australia.

Scuzzie

40

Hi All,

Well for any one who has had their T-Hub freeze after download of the latest software and it sits there with the blue bar at the end.

Okay this will do a reset and you will have to enter your details again,but don't need to run the CD.

Okay first remove the Battery
Then locate the Volume down botton on the right hand side of the T-Hub

Replace the battery after having it out for a few minutes

,hold the Vol down botton and start the T-Hub,this will take awhile.

The unit will then restart,just follow the steps on the screen and you will be back in business.

This is the only way,if you call or email Telstra,they will tell you this is the only way to do it. Pain is you need to enter all you contacts.

hope this helps anyone having this problem.

lynne McDougall

41


R U KIDDING !!! I am at work I have tried all over Christmas New Year to ge the thing to work, Cant wait to get home and try.

Hope it works, if it does how come Telstra has not posted this on their web site or on U-Tube. Scuzzie thanks for taking the time to post this, I was just about to take to the thing with a hammer.

LYNNE McDOUGALL

42

Okay Scuzzie this did re-boot the T-Hub, but it is so unstable, it wont sync, wont see if their is an update both of these actions cause it to freeze and yes need re-booting again....so I thought just get it started again, leave it....dont touch and wait for an upgrade to fix, but last night it froze when it came to turning off for the the Night off time....so this morning, it is off and when I am ready I will again re-boot.....................obviously it just did not like the last update...

oh by the way....had a lady in at work yesterday, who has been trying for 18 months to get her Telstra Wireless broadband to work, I live in a very small country town she was told it must have stopped working because of a large construction near her house!! Give me a break......she also was on the phone for 2 hours....had previously hung up on a call that she was waiting on for an hour and a half............Life is too short for Telstra.

leisa

43

Go Telstra..yeah go jump. Ive been on one of your mobile cap plans since you started them but when i went to reduce my cap recently(not under contract)I was told "your on an old plan if you want to do anything you will have to sign a new contract". so stupidly I did. Im in a rural area so dont have much choice. I went to my telstra shop where I was TOLD what I needed. Great now im stuck in a contract .Also asked about bigpond(to make partner happy)wasTOLD i had to have home phone on. Ok so now ive got the bundle ! I have what the sales rep said I needed. Wasnt told i didnt have to get a T HUB.wasnt told also that the Thub was a piece of sh## and my internet was slow or that I would be put on hold for 27 mins if i tried to phone tech support. Reality.. I will pay what ever I have to pay to get out of my "bundle" and you can stick your Thub that has never worked .Its sad that you encourage your sales reps to sell people things they dont need. Why do your big pond bundles only have a very minimal usage or extremy high usage?nothing in between??? I have been with Telstra for many years but that over and done with.

Christina Kay

44

This is the greatest peice of rubbish ever. Unfortunately I have given my uniden phone away. Big mistake!!
The answer service most often doesn't work, sometimes it rings loud and clear and other times it seems to be so soft we don't hear it at all. It seems to need resetting almost daily and for some reason it now won't reset at all. The battery in the handsets goes flat after a few hours off the charger (overnight) and is extremely fiddly to use the contacts to dial the number. I am returning mine tomorrow.

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