Telstra seeks global 'reinvigoration'

Telstra is seeking to "reinvigorate" its global strategy, according to a company spokesman.

Steve Wright, senior manager, external affairs at Telstra, would not confirm yesterday's newspaper reports that the carrier was considering taking a 10 per cent stake in Japanese telco Kokusai Denshin Denwa (KDD). However, Wright did say that Telstra was looking for opportunities to enhance its wholesale and retail leverage internationally and was close to finalising a new business venture in Asia.

According to telecommunications analyst Paul Budde, a minority investment by Telstra in KDD would be a move to salvage some business benefit from the WorldPartners initiative -- a loose confederation of carriers from around the world including AT&T, KDD and Telstra.

WorldPartners suffered a blow in mid-1998 when AT&T announced it would not continue its involvement in the confederation beyond 1999, preferring to combine its international operations with British Telecommunications.

Speaking yesterday, Paul Budde commented that Telstra required a radical change of strategy if it was to push strongly into the Asian and global markets.

"Telstra has had a history of 10 years of international failures and very few [international] success stories," Budde said.

"Full mergers are the only way to address the global market," he said.

Budde believes Telstra will be acquired within five years.

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