Telstra's wholesale division is expecting to increase revenues by 10 to 15 per cent over the next 18 months with the introduction of a new online billing initiative.
Launched yesterday, Linx-on-Line is an online transfer platform for service providers. It transfers billing and asset registry information to carriers electronically on a daily basis.
Developed in collaboration with RSL Com over the past two years, Linx-on-Line will allow consumers to select more than one service provider for a range of different services, said Rosemary Howard, managing director of Telstra Wholesale.
"It will allow consumers more choice as the end users . . . and stimulate growth in the whole telecommunications industry," Howard said.
"End users aren't forced to use one service provider for all services. This degree of choice does not exist in the market today," she said.
According to Doug Campbell, group managing director of Telstra Wholesale and International, Linx-On-Line is the first "major plank" in Telstra's new approach to the wholesale business.
"Linx" will become a sub-brand of the wholesale division, Campbell said.
According to Campbell, service providers are currently billed monthly via tapes or paper-based procedures, a process which will continue to be offered to those providers who do not wish to adopt Linx-on-Line.
Campbell said that at this stage RSL Com is the only wholesale customer to sign up for system and has recently completed a four month trial of the system.
He said Telstra is well advanced in negotiations with a number of other service providers who may introduce the system.
"It shouldn't be difficult for other service providers to come online . . . but it is a new way of doing business," Campbell said.
Service providers may have to modify their systems to interface with Linx-on-Line, but Campbell said it "shouldn't take a great deal of difficulty".
According to Campbell, Telstra is also hoping Linx-on-Line will be adopted as a key standard of the Telecommunications Online Initiative (TOLI), an industry-led development group working to create an online telecommunications industry.
"Linx-on-Line can be a key element in moving in that direction, Campbell said.