Telstra’s three-pronged strategy for the NBN

Telco seeks to differentiate itself in an NBN world

There are three components to Telstra’s strategy as a retail service provider on the National Broadband Network according to Karsten Wildberger, the telco’s group executive for retail.

With Telstra having for the first time in its history to compete over fixed-line infrastructure it doesn’t own, the telco will win customers on the NBN through offering the best user experience on the new network, creating ‘only with Telstra’ products and services, and delivering segmented offers to the market, Wildberger said.

“Telstra is best positioned to help Australian homes and businesses get the most out of the NBN and we are determined to be provider of choice,” the Telstra executive said during a presentation today to investors.

“It is a position we have fought hard for and one which we do not take for granted.”

Telstra currently has around 50 per cent of the NBN market, he added.

“Not all NBN services are created equal,” Wildberger said.

“Many aspects of the NBN experience are managed by the RSP, and they can make the difference between clear and pixelated videos, business application availability and even the location customers can access the network.”

Wildberger said that the telco’s NBN Wi-Fi Gateway for home users, high download and upload speeds on its entry-level plans, and its anti-malware Broadband Protect service were examples of how Telstra could deliver a high-quality customer experience.

The telco’s ‘Telstra Platinum’ support service is another example, he added.

“To set ourselves apart further, we are creating product experiences Australians can only get with Telstra,” Wildberger said.

“These experiences are increasing demand for broadband, stimulating broadband adoption among voice-only customers and providing us with a platform to win back customers.”

A prime example is the telco’s Wi-Fi network, he said. 'Telstra Air' launched earlier this year.

“It’s a powerful proposition and has helped boost NBN bundle sales,” Wildberger said.

During the company’s full-year results briefing in August, Telstra CEO Andy Penn said that the telco had launched 3500 public hotspots for the network and more than 65,000 BigPond broadband customers had opted into the service.

In addition to public hot spots, Telstra Air turns the home Internet connections of customers who opt in to the service into additional hotspots.

NBN customers already account for more than a fifth of the Telstra Air member base, Wildberger said.

Telstra’s T-Voice app, which allows smartphones and tablets to be used to make and receive landline calls, is another example, he added.

“Another experience unique to Telstra is Telstra TV,” Wildberger said.

“More than one third of all TV viewing globally has now moved online. The spread of high quality broadband is set to support the growth trend creating further opportunities for Tesltra to be aggregator of the best content.

“Our recently launched Telstra TV complements our leading Foxtel from Telstra packages.”

“This is only the beginning of a broad portfolio of ‘better with Telstra’ content experience in the pipeline,” the executive said.

“From a business perspective, we are creating industry solutions, managed network services, cloud and calibration services to take advantage of the improved network quality available with the NBN rollout,” he added.

Some 60 per cent of business customers that migrate to the NBN with Telstra have taken up the telco’s Digital Office Technology bundle, which includes core routing, remote working and message-taking technology.

The third component of Telstra’s RSP strategy is providing tailored offers to customers, Wildberger said.

“Unlike other providers who go to market with one size fits all plans, we are creating offers that match customers’ segment needs with specific inclusion and product features.”

The telco’s budget brand, Belong, now accounts for 5 per cent of the Telstra NBN base, he said.

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