Optus looks to digital media, services future

CEO Allen Lew outlines the telco’s forward plans

Optus CEO Allen Lew.

Optus CEO Allen Lew.

Optus has to change due to growing economic pressures that are hitting it from a variety of sources according to CEO Allen Lew.

“The price per megabit has been decreasing and rich digital media is proliferating across affordable mobile devices,” he said today at an Australia-Israel Chamber of Commerce event.

“We are competing with not just infrastructure players, but mega digital players and small startups. We have no choice as a telco but to transform and make sure we build speed and agility into our organisation.”

Optus will be doing this through three ways, which Lew referred to as “shield, expand and capture initiatives.”


“In a world where demand for data is growing, we will be investing close to $2 billion this year to ensure we have an integrated next generation platform across fixed and mobile networks that have the speed, quality and reliability to transfer data for the vast majority of Australians,” the CEO said.

“We will also increase the pace of customer care platforms and people. We need to ensure we are making a fundamental change in customer care to be distinctive through a multitude of channels.”

Read more: CIO Julia Raue to leave Air New Zealand


Lew wants to takes Optus' current business opportunities and enhance these with digital services.

“The priority is deploying business analytics to see potential in the communications department. Telco operators hold the most valuable data about their customers, whether it is consumer identity, location or the monthly bill,” he said.

“We want to use this information to improve our in-house operations and foster a big data mindset across the company.”

With “millions of customers” on the Optus fixed and mobile platforms, Lew said it has a unique opportunity to be a digital media outlet.

“We can achieve this by partnering with globally renowned brands such as Netflix.”


"Capture" this is about growing the Optus business beyond traditional capabilities and capturing new opportunities by taking some risks and re-inventing, he said.

“We need to be prepared to offer more in-depth services to our customers. We need to be a service provider,” he said.

For example, Optus has invested in cyber security firm Trustwave.

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