Telstra talks up expanded 4G coverage

Telco to spend $1.2 billion to extend its 4G network next year as the company sells 100,000 Apple iPhone 5s since September

Telstra will spend $1.2 billion in fiscal 2013 to extend 4G mobile network coverage to two-thirds of the Australian population, as the telco looks to add to an existing base of more than 500,000 4G customers.

Speaking to shareholders this morning at the company’s AGM, Telstra boss David Thodey, said the telco planned to expand the coverage of 4G from 40 per cent to 66 per cent of the population by the end of this financial year.

He said that Telstra had sold around 100,000 Apple iPhone 5s since the launch of the smartphone last month and Telstra had its “biggest [retail] trading day in its history” after the product was released. Telstra’s mobile revenue was $8.7 billion in fiscal 2012, an 8.5 per cent jump on the previous year.

Meanwhile, Thodey said Telstra had sold around 150,000 second-generation T-Hub interactive phones in fiscal 2012 and more than 412,000 customers were now using this product. Around 193,000 units of the Telstra T-Box were also sold during the year.

Thodey said Telstra was also now focused on “leveraging the opportunities that arise from the NBN, such as collaborating with NBN Co. on the building of its new access network.” This followed the finalising of NBN agreements with the federal government and NBN Co.

“We are progressing well in the build of that transit network, which will connect 121 points of interconnect around the country,” Thodey said. “We have launched retail services and we will shortly launch of wholesale services over the NBN, following successful trials in the early release sites.”

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