Warning: Telstra is killing off Australia’s mobile competition


opinion The level of real competition in Australia’s mobile telecommunications sector is declining every day, with Telstra the only player showing vigorous signs of growth and its rivals falling further and further behind it.

Over the past two weeks, several new major slices of information have been released about the various rivals in Australia’s mobile telecommunications sector which should give anyone concerned about the state of competition in the industry real cause for worry.

The first piece of information — which landed several weeks ago, buried deep in the financial results of Vodafone’s UK head office — is that despite all of its efforts to the contrary, Vodafone Australia is facing a customer exodus that does not appear to be slowing down. The financial results revealed that Vodafone Australia lost 128,000 customers in the three months to 31 March 2012, putting the company’s total local customer numbers at about 6.7 million. Those losses come as the company revealed in February that it had lost another 200,000 customers in the six months to the end of December last year, and 375,000 in the first six months of 2011.

To say that this is disturbing is an understatement.

What it means is that despite replacing its chief executive, despite implementing an extensive internal restructuring program, despite ploughing a huge investment into its mobile network that will see it replace almost its entire radio network infrastructure, despite expanding the network rapidly at the same time, despite conducting a huge marketing campaign guaranteeing customers that its network is of an acceptable quality or they can exit their contracts with no consequences and despite launching a slew of hot handsets such as the HTC Sensation and the iPhone 4S, Vodafone does not seem like it is able to stop or even slow the huge customer exodus from its network spurred by its rolling series of outages and technical glitches in late 2010 and early 2011.

In real terms, this ongoing exodus is also having a nightmarish effect on Vodafone Australia’s revenue. The company revealed recently that its Australian operation had recently lost 8.8 percent of its overall revenues, due to the customer departures. In an industry where margins are traditionally quite slim, you can imagine that this headline figure has the company’s new local chief executive Bill Morrow awaking in a cold sweat at 2am every night, wondering how he’s going to stop the rot.

At the same time, we must ask ourselves, where are all those Vodafone customers going?

Well, for starters, we know most of them aren’t going to Optus. In mid-May, Optus announced its financial results for the three months to the end of March, and it’s clear that Vodafone’s problems are having very little effect on the SingTel subsidiary, which continues to see only modest growth in its mobile business. Optus is growing about the same rate it usually has in mobile, adding on some 82,000 new postpaid customers and actually losing some prepaid customers. The telco currently has some 9.49 million mobile customers in total.

We also know that those customers aren’t really going to the mobile services offered by the various ‘brands’ sitting on top of other mobile networks. Companies like Red Bull, Amaysim, iiNet, TPG, Virgin Mobile, Dodo and so on all use the mobile network infrastructure of companies like Optus and Vodafone to offer their own mobile services on top of the infrastructure of, primarily, Vodafone and Optus. While most of these companies are likely to be seeing modest growth, we know they’re not seeing strong growth because neither Vodafone or Optus are seeing strong growth; ultimately these brands’ growth would show up on the balance sheets of these two telcos as well. Telstra has only just started wholesaling its Next G network and wouldn’t be expected to have significant wholesale customers at this point.

That just leaves one player, Telstra.

And coincidentally, we do have a lot of data recently released which shows a huge — and I mean colossal — amount of growth in Telstra’s mobile business. To really understand how big this growth is, let’s look at this chart from Telstra’s financial results for the six months to the end of 2011. These results were released in January.

Do you get the picture? While Vodafone is losing hundreds of thousands of customers in every six month period, Telstra is adding them on — more than 300,000 postpaid mobile phone contracts in every half-year, plus usually around 400,000 mobile broadband customers, and even a significant number of ‘machine to machine’ connections (where companies deploy infrastructure in the field which uses Telstra’s infrastructure).

It looks, from the information available, as if Telstra has usually been adding on some 900,000 or so new mobile connections in total in every six month period, at a time in which Vodafone is losing hundreds of thousands of customers in the same period, and Optus is remaining quite stable. What’s more, Telstra is also entrenching its dominance. The company just this week revealed that it now had more than 300,000 customers using its 4G mobile broadband network, which now extends to some 1,000 base stations around Australia. The network was switched on in September 2011.

Let’s put this in context for a second. We can say at this point that Telstra is now signing up more customers for its 4G network alone, than the net number of customers which Optus and Vodafone are signing up in combination for their 3G networks. And that’s not even counting the extra hundreds of thousands of customers which Telstra is signing up to its 3G networks as well.

Think about it. Many of those 4G customers which Telstra is signing up are coming from its own customer base — the telco is cannibalising 3G customers and turning them into 4G customers. And yet it is also still signing up 3G customers at a rate of knots. We’re not quite sure how many extra 3G customers the company is signing up at this stage, as it’s not the end of this financial year yet, and Telstra hasn’t released its six monthly results to the end of June. But judging by its previous three halves, I would bet the number is somewhere between 700,000 and 900,000.

So Telstra is currently soaking up almost every new mobile customer available in Australia’s marketplace at the moment, including stealing a huge number of customers from Vodafone and keeping Optus more or less stable, while also rapidly upgrading its own customers to a 4G network which its rivals can’t match. Because that’s the real nature of Telstra’s 4G network. Once you’re on Telstra’s 4G infrastructure, you’re very unlikely to be willing to migrate off. The network offers dramatically faster speeds and less congestion than any other mobile broadband network in Australia. And migrating to another carrier will mean going back to 3G speeds, as Optus has only just started slowly upgrading its own infrastructure to 4G in a very small number of locations, while Vodafone hasn’t started at all.

Let me point one further thing out.

Telstra is also signing up this huge number of customers to its 4G network with what has been pretty pathetic 4G smartphone offerings. For most of the time the telco has had its 4G network, it’s only had a couple of handsets compatible with it — the HTC Velocity 4G, and the Samsung Galaxy S II 4G. Both are a little bit behind the curve when it comes to the latest features, and yet Telstra has been signing up customers at a rate of knots to its 4G network anyway — that’s how desperate people are to get on the infrastructure. A lot of this growth will have come from the company’s mobile broadband dongles and Wi-Fi units, but I’m sure there are also a lot of 4G smartphone users.

Now, however, things are changing. Telstra has just added several flagship 4G handsets to its arsenal — the HTC Titan 4G and the HTC One XL — and it looks like there are more 4G models in the wings, with Samsung hinting at a 4G version of the Galaxy S III. You can also bet that Apple, when it eventually releases the next iPhone, will have a 4G version finally ready for Australia, and at that stage it is likely that Telstra’s is the only network which will be able to fully support it. In short, Telstra’s advantages are only going to increase as time goes on — and the disadvantages of its rivals will also multiply.

Can you see what’s happening here? Right now, when it comes to mobile, Telstra holds all the cards in Australia, and it is playing those cards for all it is worth; rapidly soaking up hundreds of thousands of customers, destroying Vodafone’s revenue stream wholesale, and holding Optus back with one hand while it’s raking in cash with the other. It has the best handsets, the best network, the most marketing clout, the best reputation for network quality and a colossal lead in 4G infrastructure.

Now, from a customer viewpoint, there is no doubt this is fantastic — for now. Telstra is bending over to make customers like myself happy, and I’m happy to admit I’m a Telstra mobile customer. There is simply no point for someone like myself (who needs access to the Internet pretty much 24×7, anywhere I am), to sign up with Vodafone or Optus, when I know I’m going to get reduced coverage and speed from the alternative networks for only a slightly cheaper cost. And Telstra has been the only mobile carrier I recommend to anyone who asks for years now.

But long-term, what Telstra is doing right now represents a troubling sign for Australia’s mobile industry. Just as it did in fixed broadband, Telstra is now winding back competition in the mobile telecommunications space. One really has to wonder how long multinationals like SingTel and Vodafone will continue to be committed to piling hundreds of millions of dollars into mobile phone infrastructure in Australia, when it is clear they are only going to see very moderate levels of growth in return — and are even going to have to struggle to keep what customers they have. And who will keep Telstra honest with strong competitive offerings, when the company gets too far ahead for its own good?

In five years’ time, just how much market share will Telstra have in Australia’s mobile phone industry? If it keeps on adding 900,000 new mobile connections every six months and converting its customers to 4G while its rivals do diddly squat, I would have to say the answer will be: Most of it.


  1. I’m confused. Is this about “what Telstra is doing right now”, or about what the other networks aren’t doing? I recently switched to Telstra after being very patient with Optus, but eventually tiring of the complete lack of improvement in network coverage and data throughput. I’m all for more competition in the sector, but as long as Telstra’s competitors are spending too much on advertising and not enough on upgrading their oversold network, this trend is going to continue.

    • It’s about what the other networks aren’t doing, as well as what Telstra us doing.

      My concern is primarily that long-term, Vodafone may die as a third force in the market, and that the impact of even Optus may be negligible.

      • haha die…

        “128,000 customers in the three months to 31 March 2012, putting the company’s total local customer numbers at about 6.7 million”

        so they are losing 42k customers a month out of 6.7 million – which mean in 12 YEARS they will be dead, sounds like the rising tides myth in the climate change debate. hahaha

        Love to see the numbers coming in tho? Vodafone shops seem pretty full to me on weekends!

        Sounds like yet another fanboi article for Telstra.

        • Dawsei, they’ve lost over a MILLION since the Vodafail collapse in 2009. Just over half a Million in 2011 ALONE!


          It’s not fanboism. 90% of people I speak to who have Vofafone have a problem with it. Those that don’t haven’t left the city in more than 3 years.

          If you’re outside cities, Vodafone is almost useless. Optus is better, but dropouts are still a big issue.

          There is no question Telstra are doing the best, the question IS, what are Optus and Vodafone going to do about it?

          • dude I use Vodafone every day for data and phone all over the suburbs and it’s noticeably better in the last few months. In fact my Telstra Elite modem hasn’t had a showing for over 6 months in any suburb. (everywhere from wantirna to the airport had great data signal yesterday and was on the phone all the way back too??

            Tell your friends to get a decent phone like a SGS2 or one with decent antenna.

            My bet is they have an iphone 4 (which signals are rubbish even on telstra from what I hear, and add to that the massive amount of bandwidth they use just to operate in the same way other phones do much more efficiently)

            “Saying telstra holds ALL the cards, when they don’t have ALL the customers” proves it’s a fanboi article. It’s misleading journalism.

          • “dude I use Vodafone every day for data and phone all over the suburbs and it’s noticeably better in the last few months. In fact my Telstra Elite modem hasn’t had a showing for over 6 months in any suburb. (everywhere from wantirna to the airport had great data signal yesterday and was on the phone all the way back too??

            Tell your friends to get a decent phone like a SGS2 or one with decent antenna.”

            “Mate” I use Telstra every day in Sydney’s CBD. It’s twice as fast as the comparable Vodafone offerings I’ve seen on the SGS2 and I have a Telstra Desire (soon to be One XL).

            You’re right, my friends do have alot of iPhones….I’m sorry, last time I looked the iPhone, much to my displeasure, was the best selling smartphone in our country. If Vodafone cannot provide coverage that’s decent enough that it has to rely on 100% optimised antenna placement to get any sort of decent signal, I’m sorry, that’s not good enough. Telstra have their “Blue Tick” that’s optimised phones for regional areas and they recommend specific phones depending on your locality where I live. They KNOW their limitations and recommend accordingly. Vodafone sell you the most expensive plan they can get you on, regardless of the phone.

            In fact, my best friend got a Desire on 3, as, at the time, it roamed to Telstra 2G and that was the only reception she got in her more rural area. When Vodafone took over 3, she got a $400 bill because they failed to tell her that once Vodafone took over the deal with Telstra was off. She asked to be taken off her contract (at that point with less than 6 months to go) and they tried 4 times to get her to churn to Vodafone, while she continually told them she didn’t GET Vodafone 3G reception because of her phone (it was 850Mhz) and they disagreed “according to their maps”. She finally got her brother-in-law’s old Vodafone sim, which he’d swapped for a Telstra one after 16 dropouts in a week for his small business he was running across his mobile, and put it in and sure enough, no reception. They couldn’t even understand that she didn’t have a compatible phone. Once they did, they offered her a new phone on Vodafone, an iPhone, which she didn’t want. Eventually she had to ring the Ombudsman to get off her contract that was not the one she had signed (ie one that allowed her to roam to Telstra 2G).

            She’s now with Telstra and couldn’t be happier.

            Is Telstra more expensive? Yes. Are there regions Vodafone or Optus are as good/better? Yes. Are there MORE regions where Telstra is good/better. Double Yes.

            “My bet is they have an iphone 4 (which signals are rubbish even on telstra from what I hear, and add to that the massive amount of bandwidth they use just to operate in the same way other phones do much more efficiently)”

            Again, the iPhone is the most popular phone in Australia. The signals on Telstra are not rubbish, quite obviously, or people wouldn’t be signing up to Telstra, with the most popular phone, continuously. The “massive bandwidth” the iPhone uses is down to its’ insistence on pushing notifications of everything. It can be turned off. Most people don’t. Android is no different, but easier to manage. Optus and Telstra can both deal with the data, why not Vodafone? Because they HAVEN’T SPENT THE MONEY. It’s only after Vodafail that they got a swift boot up the arse and ACTUALLY did something. Are they better now? Unquestionably. Are they better than Telstra? Not by an orbit of the Earth.

            “”Saying telstra holds ALL the cards, when they don’t have ALL the customers” proves it’s a fanboi article. It’s misleading journalism.”

            That’s the most ridiculous thing I’ve ever heard. Telstra have:

            – The best Network; look at the latest poll figures (http://www.heraldsun.com.au/business/vodafone-ranked-last-for-network-coverage/story-fn7j19iv-1226376012495) Note Vodafone’s position….last
            – The most customers; both total amount AND total growth
            – The best business strength- They posted massive profits last year, while Vodafone posted a large loss

            “Telstra doesn’t have ALL customers and so it’s misleading to say they hold all the cards” is what we call hyperbole. NO company will have all customers in an unregulated market. To say otherwise is ridiculous. When they have such a clear lead in ALL categories, it is quite acceptable to say they hold all the cards- ie no matter what Vodafone or Optus do, Telstra has the clout and money to counter it to maintain its’ share. THAT is holding all the cards.

  2. I’m with Vodafone and my service is excellent….It gets better the more people leave :)

  3. “…as long as Telstra’s competitors are spending too much on advertising and not enough on upgrading their oversold network, this trend is going to continue.”

    Well said, Luke. Vodafone’s network is still laughably bad. Every time I see “Power to you” on the TV with one of their annoying ‘celebrities’ spruiking the supposedly ‘new and improved’ network I’m forced to change the channel.

    Telstra isn’t perfect – the technical call centre and back end account, billing etc systems are still really bad – but the network itself, from 2G to LTE/4G… they’re reaping the rewards of the investments and lead there.

    • “the technical call centre and back end account, billing etc systems are still really bad”

      So so bad… I’m forever on the phone about the backend systems going upside down. My contract was extended by 2 years some how the other day, i called up and they fixed it in 15 minutes though.

      But the phone works everywhere and thats the best part.

  4. I’d agree with both Alex and Luke- Telstra is simply doing the groundwork so much better than either Optus or Vodafone.

    Customers want good speeds, quality coverage and, often most importantly, NO DROPOUTS or MISSED TEXTS. Neither of these can Optus OR Vodafone do at all well in my area, and elsewhere from reports. Telstra is literally it. I regularly see Facebook posts from people on Optus and Vodafone in my area saying “is Vodafone/Optus down tonight?”

    If they can’t spend the sort of money they need on the network, how is that Telstra’s fault? Yes, it is disturbing they are gaining such market share, and they’ve gained it with windfalls from owning public infrastructure too, but if Singtel and Voda/Hutschinson won’t spend the money, how can they expect to compete and get a return?

    Oh, by the way Renai, of the 300 000 customers they now have on 4G, only 70 000 are phone subscribers:


    Even so, with this sort of lead on the next-gen mobile tech, unless Optus REALLY increase spending and rollout, they’re just gonna get further and further behind.

    Stop advertising Optus/Vodafone. Start DOING.

      • That’s very true. I just thought it’d be a higher ratio. But I guess hotspots, being able to connect to ANYTHING, would be more popular.

      • of course existing Telstra customers signing new contracts wouldn’t have been slipped into those figures now would they ;-)

        The simple truth is Vodafone is still paying for the sins of the past.

        It’s current network is as useful as Telstra’s (I use both regularly for data) and both have blackspots (which is why I have both), I find neither better than the other in the suburbs and at the airport.

        • Again, gotta disagree Dawsei. In my area, we’ve got 70 000 people and 3 Telstra stores. 1 Optus. 0 Vodafone.

          Vodafone coverage is at best patchy and at worst non-existant for even 2G. Its’ 3G can randomly dropout when downloading or simply sit there trying to get a server response.

          I have nothing personally against Vodafone. They were my first network for a mobile. But they stopped doing any work and now they’re desperately scrambling to catch up. Of course they’re going to upgrade the cities first, but its’ the regional customers that left first and they’ll be the last to come back.

          • Dawesi: “in my experience…”
            Seven: “with respect you are wrong.”

            Nice, his experience is wrong.

          • PeterA, I never said Dawesi was wrong in his experience. I said I disagreed. My experience disagrees with his.

            You can’t be wrong because of your experience. You can be wrong because of facts though. And Vodafone’s rating was the lowest of any network in the recent survey. That says to me, in general according to the largest number of people, Vodafone aren’t doing enough yet and that Dawesi is one of the lucky ones.

  5. TLS = BUY!
    With however many taxpayer billions of dollars heading their way, their wireless network will just keep getting better and better.
    Optus has a lot of work to do, but are sacking people hand over fist as the Singaporean bean counters take control. Another 750 finished up yesterday.

  6. The day we start punishing companies “in an unregulated environment”, for out-perfoming others by giving consumers a better product and even want them nobbled at the knees to bring them back to the pack, all in the name of competition, is a sad day, imo.

    But come on Renai, without wanting to transform this into another “3 lettered argument”, those who oppose the current improvements to fixed keep telling us how great the competition is in mobile and how mobile will one day make fixed obsolete.

    So please don’t shatter them yet again by proving them wrong, umm, yet again.

    • That’s just the thing, I don’t know what we should actually do about this situation. I don’t have an answer. All I know is that it’s happening.

      • Good point it’s tricky… we want the best, but not at the expense of the rest, for obvious reasons.

        Perhaps a $50B NMBN… lol.

  7. Look I am happy for Telstra to be winning customers if what they offer is what others are looking for. My main issue (and I am happy to be proven wrong on this as I am relying on what I have been told, and even less reliable, what I read in the media!) is that Telstra got their dominant network (i.e. in small country towns and on highways etc) through taxpayer funded initiatives – I believe that govts have, in the past, subsidized the roll out of Telstra’s national network to areas that are financially unsuitable for mobile networks (i.e. towns in WA with less than 100 people) – and Telstra has turned that geographic covage into market dominance, which is now being used against the others mobile operators. This doesn’t seem right IMHO – but I could be wrong about these “facts”.

    On the subject of Vodafone, perhaps part of their issue is incompetence? I received an offer today in the regular mail (addressed to me – not just a spam mail out) offering me a free iPhone 4S on the $79 cap – however the offer expired yesterday (on the 31st May…) What a waste of marketing funds! I’ll be moving off Vodafone when my contract expires – I reckon maybe 1 in 3 or 4 calls I make (in built up areas of Sydney) drop out. Am over it…

    • Tim, part of that is true, about blackspot coverage. But the subsidies these days are paid to the industry in general and whoever chooses to do it gets the money as far as I know.

      Have Telstra used this to their advantage? Almost certainly. But it’s not just Telstra who have been given the subsidies.

      • As far as Im aware, we’ve almost never been offered a subsidy like this (Never is a strong word… lets say rarely). These are allocated by local councils to correct coverage gaps. The whole point of our Joint Venture with Optus, was to have a higher approval rate of new sites, ones which we were both being blocked by councils. So on one hand, we’re offered a subsidy for a new site to fix network issues, but as soon as we apply and score it – the new site is blocked by some local oldies or greenies that like to complain because they think they’ll glow in the dark.

        Its LITERALLY that simple. I get to go and give presentations as to why we need a site in X location for Y reason. Its almost always blocked because they’re either all with Telstra and dont see the point of a new site (they generally argue we dont need one we can use existing ones – which is bullshit because Telstra WILL charge excessive fees to do this) OR they think it has some generational issue – ie Unsightly (even when disguised as a pine tree or hidden in a billboard), it causes radiation (also bullshit – wrong type of radiation) and its too near children or schools (yet Telstra’s had base stations in schools for years).

        Make up your mind people – we cant fix it if we arent allowed to .

        • Fair enough Master_T.

          I figured Telstra were the main reason this system wasn’t working properly. I have to admit being in one of those regions whose council has CONTINUALLY knocked back towers from other (read: Optus, Vodafone) providers. And I hate it. Our Council is one of the WORST in the country- I’m not just saying that, they were rated 92 out of the worst 100, with 100 being the worst.

          They knock them back because we’re the cemetery of Sydney here; 1/3 of our population is over 60. They’re all abou the “unsightliness” of towers, thinking of your average TV tower, like the one on our big hill nearby. And who gets the advantage? Telstra.

          I wish I could go with someone else. I don’t like Telstra’s business ethics, but I need quality reception.

          • I live in 4165 myself, our council has no clue. They’re all oldies who are more interested in helping themselves than their consituents.

            If it was my way, I’d say – get rid of the oldies :P

            But alas, we need them for some stuff ;)

          • ‘They knock them back because we’re the cemetery of Sydney here; 1/3 of our population is over 60. They’re all abou the “unsightliness” of towers,’

            Interesting glib analysis, how do you know everyone over 60 is against the towers and 2/3 are not?


          • Don’t start alain. Of course there will be those under 60 who are against it. But I’ve been to a dozen council meetings. It is always the “older communities” representatives or the older people on council who vote no….and oddly enough, 2/3 of our council are older.

            The local newspaper also opposes them in opinion pages, written predominantly by residents from retirement villages, while the paper reporters show that families are having to use satellite just 20 mins from the nearest town because the council won’t let them put small towers up.

            Our council IS one of the worst in Australia. Do you know how many towers you can ACTUALLY spot in our area?….7, I’ve counted when I used to do deliveries for a hiring studio. Apparently 2 more is too many, for an area about the same square milage as Sydney….

            My “glib” analysis has come from literally a decade of dealing with my council, so don’t think you know better.

          • Councillors represent the wards and the people in them who voted for them just in the same way State and Federal MP’s are voted in because they represent the majority vote of their electorates.

            You may not like the majority representation system as it stands but sorry that’s the way our supposed democracy works, if you don’t like what’s happening in your local area strongly enough run for council on a ‘more towers’ ticket – see how you go.

          • You are correct (finally – but it was on obvious one), majority rules, alain…

            Now simply apply your newly found logic to the last federal election.

            You may not like the majority representation system as it stands but sorry that’s the way our supposed democracy works ;-)

          • Hey alain-

            How about you talk to about your council and I’ll talk about mine.

            In the meantime, you’re one to lecture me about democracy- Our DEMOCRATIC government wants the NBN and polls of our DEMOCRATIC nation show widely popular support….and yet our supposedly “democratically enhancing” opposition say what the people want is wrong. And you’re defending their claim.

            Yeah…..you can definitely lecture me on misrepresentation….

  8. “You can also bet that Apple, when it eventually releases the next iPhone, will have a 4G version finally ready for Australia, and at that stage it is likely that Telstra’s is the only network which will be able to fully support it”

    Even as a big Apple fan, I wouldn’t bet on this. Apple have never shown much regard for countries other than the US when launching new features. The obvious example being the new iPad, while LTE enabled, has no 1800Mhz support for Australia, and it will stay that way at least until the next model is released.

    Remember it took Apple forever just to move away from AT&T and build a CDMA capable version for Verizon customers in the US. It is of course likely that Apple will be using a new smaller and more power efficient LTE chip in the iPhone, and perhaps this one will support a range of new frequencies including 1800Mhz, but I definitely wouldn’t bet on it. Australia represents such a tiny volume of Apple sales that we may simply not be a priority.

    Another obvious example of Apple’s US-centric behaviour is that the iPhone 4S has been out for about a year now and its no.1 advertised feature, Siri, is still only capable of location based searches and local mapping information for US customers. Perhaps this will be rectified when Apple give us a glimpse at OS6 at WWDC (particularly as all signs point to them unveiling their own in-house maps service to get away from Google Maps), but it’s all very uncertain and Apple may choose to continue leaving Siri’s more advanced functionality to US customers for the time being.

    I really hope you’re right about 1800Mhz LTE on the next iPhone, becuase its likely my next phone, but I’m already setting myself up to be dissapointed.

    Thankfully Telstra’s HSPA+ network has improved dramatically in my area recently. It took several complaints and a conversation with a senior executive before anything was done, but we’ve now has an extra 80% capacity added to my closest tower. Where as before it was timing out constantly and I was lucky to get 400kbps (when it worked) now I’m back to an average of 4mbps during the day and 6mbps at night which at this stage is all I really need from a smartphone.

    Dont get me wrong, I want 4G, but as long as Telstra keep maintaing their 3G network, I could handle being on it for another 24 months. LTE speed matters to me for tablet and laptop tethering, but I can’t say its something that would be the deciding factor for my next smartphone purchase. There are way too many other things that matter to me more than blistering fast internet speeds.

    • I’d agree Simon. I don’t like the iPhone, but I follow it because its’ market dominance to show how mobile markets will progress.

      I would actually be quite surprised if they have an LTE version compatible with 1800Mhz. I’d be much less surprised if they had a 4 inch screen….thermonuclear on Android hey Jobs…..yeah, that worked out well….

      Australia is low on their list, just like on many. And it’s not likely to change anytime soon.

  9. As I look on to all these people who wish the demise of Vodafone and Optus, just remember one thing without these companies you will be paying through the nose for services which you will come to expect. Just think Foxtel…. Coles and Woolies… and the petrol prices that go up and down like there is no tomorrow (Price fixing whats that). Yes the 2 companies need to sort themseleves out but remember you get what you pay for… and you will be the people compaining how hard done by you are with the lack of competion in the market place.

    • I don’t think anyone is wishing the demise of Optus and Vodafone at all Onlooker. In fact, the opposite. This article is about the fact that competition IS decreasing. But what are they doing about it? Not alot. And they NEED to do alot to catch up.

      I’d hate to see a market with Telstra having 85% of the customers- look at the fixed market. Yes, they’re still wholesalers too, but the principle is the same; its’ bad for the consumer.

      But Optus and Vodafone (or rather their parent companies) need to invest in Australia. Telstra however, will make that as hard as possible and that’s not good for the average Australian mobile user.

  10. Lets get one thing straight Telstra is the government communications network = They get piggy backed all time with free money/subsidies

    Optus and Vodafone dont get free money.. like Telstra = Poor man network.

    You know the old saying. A poor man will have to buy everything two times in their life.

    • I’d love to see some evidence for that statement – what material subsidies have Telstra got recently to build mobile tower/capacity?

    • Daniel-

      Telecom Australia was the government mobile network. It eventually became the “Telstra mobile Net” which was subsidised back in the late 1990’s, early 2000’s to cover black spots with CDMA coverage.

      They’ve not received any direct subsidy for at least a decade. The NextG network was all their own work and good work it is too.

      There is a subsidy to build coverage for blackspots, but it’s open for all. Unfortunately, as Master_T points out, that doesn’t mean Optus/Vodafone or even sometimes Telstra get to build them, because local councils have the last say.

      • Incidentally, Telstra Mobile Net, the original subsidised “government” mobile network was appalling and had horrible coverage. It was only once it was privatised that it took off.

  11. “And who will keep Telstra honest with strong competitive offerings, when the company gets too far ahead for its own good?”

    This kind of talk started to bring down industry in “Atlas Shrugged”. Next you will be calling for a “Equalization of Opportunity Bill” in Parliament to limit the network size or number of customers Telstra can acquire.

    Lack of competition is caused by… the competition not competing!

    • Atlas shrugged is a giant Straw Man constructed argument.

      It is not something to base policy or even your ideals upon.

  12. As a purveyor of said networks, I guess this is probably where my opinion counts the most. I’ll cover your three main points: Vodafone and where it sits, Optus and where it is – and Telstra.

    As a Company, Vodafone struggled to gain network traction in 1998 through to 2012 with only a modest customer base, sitting at 3.6 million. Hutchison on the other hand had another 4.3 million as per VHA release Q1 2010. Neither the Vodafone brand or the Hutchison brand(s) (Reference to Hutchison’s Orange / 3 Etc) have really managed to gain space here. I suspect, (this was thoroughly analysed by VHA Marketing Team) that this is mainly due to an already well-entrenched Vertical Monopoly, which was and never will go anywhere. While Vodafone’s estimated customer base has fallen, the company’s losses of its customerbase in general have slowed. Our most recent estimates (and you’ll get to see this in the Q2 report are less than the Q1 @ 60,000).

    This shows a stemming of the flow, due to the congestion customers have now been mostly sated.

    Realistically, what is more alarming is not neccesarily that Vodafone is only gaining limited traction; but what would happen should Vodafone exit. When the market was in its infancy in 2001, Telstra had a minimal market share then, purely because of massively overinflated prices; for a premium service. People then didnt want to pay for a premium service, and while they’ve shifted now – I’d argue its because of Telstra’s price drop (and sufficiently lower price margin) and that the other two carriers have failed in their efforts to do anything useful. Optus had similar pricing for what was effectively not much; Would the market return to this (what was effectively telco extortion) IF Vodafone left ? My Answer ? Damn right it would.

    Optus has made almost no effort to improve its network until Vodafone’s imploded, even then it was almost 6 months before they had a practical response. Vodafone’s engineering team had a response to their issues in 2010 almost immediately following the collapse and subsequent acknowledgement of the network’s state. Optus and Vodafone’s Joint Venture now, benefits both parties greatly. Vodafone has a VASTLY superior network team in the country now, building infrastructure (lucky me – a shitload of work to do) for both companies. Optus knew it would never be able to rollout a competitive infrastructure in a short time-frame, the engineers I’ve spoken to from Optus mostly agree. Consequently, Vodafone’s now not only building its own network, but Optus’ by proxy (through the upgrading of Huawei Single RAN technology). Obviously the dark fibre that is controlled by Optus can now be laid or facilitated to support Vodafone too.

    Given that it would take some time for both networks to be in a competitive state, Vodafone’s CEO made mention of the plan during a business conference recently. He stated that the Extended JV with Optus is to counteract the customer base losses (which to be fair IS working but slowly) but to support SingTel as a global business partner, here and abroad. This was in reference to Vodafone’s construction of large-scale elements of Optus’ 4G infrastructure, which they dont have rolled out. Vodafone DO have 4G infrastructure. None of it is connected, minus some minor testing here and there – I havent personally been able to play with it yet. That was the beauty of the Huawei Single RAN technology, is that they didnt need to reroll 4G over the top. Its already done, because it comes as a seperate unit, one which needs fibre yes – but thats Optus’ job… or at least the one they’re tasked to do outside of Pipe Networks.

    While this is all good fun and stuff – talking in conjecture, what I think we will see is minimal growth from Optus and Vodafone. Over the next 24-months I’ll be privvy to the rollouts of both sides, get to play with fancy tech and hopefully see the metro-launch of both 4G systems.

    The real question is this: If Optus and Vodafone have well-documented congestion issues, how long will it take before Telstra’s go from a trickle to a waterfall ?

    My only concern is for the customer base. Im paid as an network engineer, so I get paid whoever I work for. What I dont want to see is the customers here being extorted, for what could turn into the old Telstra Mobile Net days, where the service provided bugger all for some serious cash. Vodafone’s a necessary evil, as is Optus.

  13. Telstra’s network remains the benchmark by which all others are judged.

    Despite the upgrades, Vodafone’s network is still below par around Sydney’s inner suburbs.
    the call dropouts have ceased but data speed remains poor.
    no marketing or guarantee can improve this, only continuing the actual network upgrades.

    Optus are somewhat lucky they have escaped the customer backlash, but they have noting to be proud of.

    • I can tell you exactly why that is – because Sydney was one of the LAST areas to be upgraded. Really.

      The NSW councils provided more backlash and rejections than any other state.


      You want it fixed? Blame them.

  14. I am ex-Vodafone customer who lives out in Berry (going to be moving to Kiama soon) but I work and live in the whole Illawarra/Shoalhaven area.

    Vodafone out here is hopeless. I would’ve loved to switch to Telstra but I couldn’t afford their plans.

    So I switched to Optus with their $29/mth plan. Whilst reception isn’t 100% out here (outdoor reception is great – indoors not so much) it is better than I ever got with Vodafone.

    When it comes to regional and rural Australia your choices are really Optus or Telstra. If you can afford it I would recommend Telstra – although that being said Telstra do have BYOD plans which are a decent price (but I can’t go on to them yet due to being on contract with Optus).

    So basically – I’m not suprised at Telstras dominance. If Optus and Vodafone want to compete then they have to at least start building up their infrastructure in Regional (if not Rural) Australia.

    • +1 Corsair. I’m in the Highlands and it’s exactly the same. Optus were even said to me at one point “yeah, we know we’ve got shit reception down here, but head office STILL says we’ve gotta try and sell.” To give them credit, they’ve improved a bit since then, but Telstra is by far the best.

      Vodafone removed their only store here over 5 years ago…..what does that tell you… :D

  15. Renai, I would like to point out that any success that Telstra has made in the Wireless business is on the back of significant investment, risk taking and extremely hard work building out our world-leading Next G network that Australians have the choice of selecting.

    Since we launched the Next G network in 2006 we have invested over $3.5 billion in maintaining technology leadership and performance, this includes world firsts along the way through HSPA, to HSPA+, to Dual Channel HSPA+ and upgrading over 5000 sites this year alone in response to the exploding demand and popularity of our network. Last year we took a further risk on stimulating the LTE1800 ecosystem so that we could offer 4G services to Australians, perhaps years ahead of when we would have otherwise seen 4G in Australia.

    We intend to continue investing in our network and technology to keep offering Australian consumers access to world leading wireless broadband capabilites.

    I can’t comment on what the other players in the industry are doing – but we’re going to keep investing so we can keep attracting new customers, and retain our existing customer base. That’s how competition is supposed to work and we have one of the most competitive mobile markets in the world.

    Mike Wright, Executive Director, Networks & Access Technologies, Telstra

    • Thanks Mike. It’s great to see the industry at least engaging with the user base.

      I don’t think anybody could really question the work Telstra has put in over the years.

      Keep up the good work!

    • Cheers Mike — I appreciate your engagement, and I’m sure the rest of the readers do too :)

      From my perspective I don’t think Telstra has done anything wrong here — quite the opposite. The company has done exactly what its customers wanted and should be commended for it. Without the strong investment in Next G, which has continued over the years, Australia would likely really be suffering now when it comes to mobile telecommunications. That visionary investment also forced the other companies to invest as well to keep up — and this is the definition of competition.

      I am a big supporter of what Telstra has done in the mobile area.

      My criticism is more aimed at Optus and Vodafone. Clearly, they are letting Telstra get too far out in front. The danger here for the consumer is that eventually, they will only face one real option when it comes to mobile in Australia — Telstra. In fact, that’s how I feel about it right now. There is simply no way I would switch to the network of another provider, when Telstra is so far out in front.

      And we’ve seen so many times in the technology sector what happens when one company gets too far out in front. Usually, that power ends up being turned to ill. We saw it with Microsoft’s monopolistic practices, there is an argument that we’ve seen it with Intel, we’ve seen it with companies like Oracle and VMware, and I would argue we’ve also seen it from Telstra in the area of fixed-line broadband.

      To be honest, I don’t know if this is an issue for the regulators, or whether it’s simply a wake-up call for Vodafone and Optus to pull their socks up. But it certainly is a long-term issue that the industry needs to examine in general.

      For my own part, I really support Telstra continuing to invest and develop this area. You guys have done a sterling job, and showed us all what’s possible. That’s why Australia currently has one of the best mobile networks in the world — Next G.

    • Mike, while I’ll agree with you that Telstra has no doubt invested huge amounts of money to upgrade it’s notwork, the problem I have is that a lot of those towers, especially the regional ones, were built as part of a government funded regional coverage problem when the original Telstra CDMA network was rolled out.

      Once those towers are up it’s really pretty straight forward to just put a 3G, 4G, whatever, BTS on the tower and upgrade it with the only work if any needed to be done to the backhaul, which due to the rapid rollout of the NextG and 4G networks is no doubt what is happening.

      As per Master_T’s comment above (http://delimiter.com.au/2012/06/01/warning-telstra-is-killing-off-australias-mobile-competition/#comment-434695) we then end up in a situation where Optus/VHA want to install their own tower but getting knocked back by local council, which leads to a lack of competition in these areas.

      If there is going to be true competition then in my opinion all of those towers paid for by government funding should be opened up for all mobile carriers to use, this way we don’t end up in a situation where on carrier has a leg over the other simply because the local councils won’t let them build their own towers and compete properly.

      • And how many of those towers have a Vodafone and Optus hut at the base and their aerials on top, When you check quite a few. There are very few towers these days that are only for one carrier.

      • @Tezz

        Your point about CDMA and Government funding is somewhat misleading in that it was not 100% Government funding to establish those towers, Telstra contributed funding as well and it was all about which Telco at the time was in the position to provide the maintenance support and have existing links in place to provide the best outcome.

        Further Government funding has been provided for highway wireless coverage in black-spot areas which is open for all carriers to use.

        In the case of a lot of Government funding for increased regional and rural coverage it depends on how many apply, it reminds me of the old argument about Telstra enabling regional and rural exchanges with ADSL courtesy of Government funding and the cry of ‘how come Telstra gets it all’.

        The answer in most cases is simple – no one else applied for the funding.

        • So can others no use the towers if they were as you claim, Telstra/Government funded?

          And you don’t have a problem with our tax dollars being used to build infrastructure private enterprise (using anti-NBN circus logic) would.

          Seems you have one set of rules that you always apply for wonderful Telstra (sarcasm) and another set of opposite rules for the evil NBN (more sarcasm) and let’s face it, in essence, their existences are very similar.

          • If you have a problem with how Government funding like this is allocated and the conditions attached to it take it up with your Federal MP.

          • You know, I think we’d probably get more sense and honesty out of even him, than the other option Tezz ;-)

          • @Tezz….ouch. Thompson eh?

            I feel sorry for the bloke though, even if he was/is a pillock. He doesn’t deserve the treatment he’s been getting from the media. Sure, if he is found guilty, he should be disciplined accordingly. But until what he’s ACTUALLY done can be corroborated and examined, how about we get on with running the country instead of sprinting from parliament when the “tainted” MP tries to vote on a motion with you…

          • No I am asking YOU, since you were the one who made the claim at this forum… mot my Federal MP.

            Since it was Telstra and the Government who funded the towers can others use them?

            Don’t YOU have a problem with our tax dollars being used to build infrastructure private enterprise (using anti-NBN circus logic) would.

            Seems YOU have one set of rules that you always apply for wonderful Telstra (sarcasm) and another set of opposite rules for the evil NBN (more sarcasm) and let’s face it, in essence, their existences are very similar.

        • Your point about CDMA and Government funding is somewhat misleading in that it was not 100% Government funding to establish those towers, Telstra contributed funding as well and it was all about which Telco at the time was in the position to provide the maintenance support and have existing links in place to provide the best outcome.

          Absolutely true, they also contributed the BTS(s), backhaul, etc, and at no point did I suggest that other carriers should have free reign of that.

          What I did say, and what I was suggesting, is that another carrier should be able to lay backhaul to the towers built as part of this blackspot program, and put their own BTS(s) on them.

          This would overcome two problems, firstly the issue with regards to tower duplication and the problems that can cause having to get local council approval to build new towers, and secondly providing better coverage and competition in the areas.

          • Do you know for sure that non-Telstra carriers have tried to do this and were rejected?

          • Yes, there are 4 towers in my area at least, 2 of which were done on blackspot programs that have all 3 carriers on them (highway valley towers). Partly because the council WOULDN’T let them build separate one.

          • As a point of reference, If we construct a new site, it may cost around 250k.

            If we re-use say Telstra’s site, it in most cases, will cost more … around 300-400k. Not only will Telstra charge a premium for this space (because we’re biting into their sales) but we’ll be using their backhaul, housing and power links. So its more cost effective to use an Optus or Vodafone site / Build a new site than re-use a Telstra one.

            Obviously these figures arent specific, but you get the idea.

      • @Tezz

        You have to remember that once the Government privatised Telstra, it essentially means that the Telstra Shareholders have purchased all the infrastructure that the past Governments may or may not have contributed towards.

        The Government has received its compensation for the sale of the company and as such, its not fair to keep claiming any future upgrades and advantage the Telstra network has is due to previous funding by Government.

  16. I am not going to cry for Vodafone or Optus. As a former customer of both of these craptacular networks even before the current exodus both VF and Optus had AMPLE opportunity to upgrade their networks before the bandwidth crunch hit in late 2010.

    Instead they spent all their funding on glorious ad campaigns extolling the virtues of their cheap ass plans to deceive hundreds of thousands of customers onto their shitty networks.

    You also can not place the blame solely on smart phones for dragging down either of their networks. Their network was failing even before the widespread use of mobile internet connected devices.

    At the end of the day executives in both companies were more interested in profit making to achieve their end of year bonuses than any real interest in making the networks actually work for customers. The same customers who had to battle daily with a shitty network that would drop out calls and cause one day delays on text messages even with full signal strength.

    • If i took my Vodafone hat off, Id say “its because they’re a government sponsored monopoly”.

      For the most part they are.

      What has always frustrated me most about doing my job is the local councils. Nothing frustrates me more than the inability to do what I want to do with the network. Im sure my superiors would agree. I honestly think its a level of clout in the local councils that consistently stop us from getting those sites where they need to be.

      Hopefully with the Optus / Vodafone JV things will change for the better. Unfortunately Im only one little engineer in a very big red company.

    • I dont remember Optus ever being any good. Back in the GSM days Vodafone had a really reliable network, it was never congested, but Optus clearly didn’t see it as a priority. Remember their free hour thing? Impossible to call or text at all for one hour a day!

      The same culture of congestion indifference has followed through to data, with them wholesaling data access to third party ISPs and cramming their network with devices they just can’t support.

  17. “despite conducting a huge marketing campaign guaranteeing customers that its network is of an acceptable quality or they can exit their contracts with no consequences”

    I take exception to this. I couldn’t believe when they aired that ad, and dared to put conditions on it! I.e., only pay for the months that you have had it.
    If you sign a contract and the network doesn’t work, any company is required to let you go. Turning basic consumer protections into some “guarantee” that is a unique selling point? It just showed they had learnt absolutely nothing from their customer service disaster.
    Speaking of, advertising their new network before it had actually been built was a real folly. I was one of the people who was caught up in the initial Vodafail network collapse, with both my iPhone and iPad. I got out of my contract for my iPhone after complaining to the TIO (before their new “network guarantee” of course), but kept my 1 year sim on my iPad to see when the network would get better.

    A really long time later, while Vodafone was crowing about their all new network, I was experiencing barely better performance on my iPad. What could they have possibly achieved by preempting the new network like that? Burnt customers come back, get burnt once again, and vow never to return!

    I mean I could talk all day about how terrible Vodafone has been since the VHA merger, but I know it’s besides the point of your article.

    Telstra, by slashing their prices to market competitiveness, really destroyed any reason for anybody choosing Vodafone or Optus. A clearly superior network was only not chosen because the alternatives were cheaper, but it would be impossible for Optus or Vodafone to offer substantially cheaper plans than those that Telstra offer.

    I don’t know if it’s predatory pricing, or Telstra just waking up to themselves, I think it’s impossible to tell the difference at this stage. We’ll see when VHA collapses and Optus exit the market if Telstra ramp up their prices, but there will always be new competitors.

  18. Well like the NBN we should only need one 4G company.. It would be stupid to rebuild the same infrastructure such as water and gas. Likewise since Telstra is rolling up 4G we should be forcing Optus and Vodafone to cough their customers and shutdown their 3G and 2G networks. If you got a old 2G and 3G phone too bad.. you should upgrading anyway. Just ask ACCC to give the tick of approval and away we go.

    If this was the case Telstra would run more efficiently hence they would be able to charge customers a lower cost.

    • REALLY not same? We’re gonna stoop this low again?

      I’m not even gonna bother, except to say this- wholesale VS retail.

      Deal with it and stop being petty.

  19. Optus is the second largest mobile provider in Aus. I wonder however if their owners Singapore Telecom are willing to improve the network to compete with Telstra’s 4G and Next G network. I know Optus has started 4G trials and will most likely rollout 4G very shortly. Will it be a bare minimum rollout or something to truly compete with Telstra network performance wise? SingTel owns mobile networks in Singapore, Aus, India, Sri Lanka and many other countries. My concern is that Australia’s Optus is just a revenue raiser, one that requires minimum investment. In many ways I agree with what Renai is saying. Telstra is spending a lot of money to get vastly ahead of the other networks. Can Vodafone afford to invest in better network performance, coverage through newer and faster technologies such as LTE and beyond? Or will they continue there 3G fix-up job? Does Optus want to build a 4G network capable of taking on Telstra 4G or invest the bare minimum to retain customers, remain relevant and keep SingTel’s pockets heavy.

  20. The moral of the story don’t wholesale your network to all and sundry so that you can maintain control. Be prepared to use the best equipment, don’t be a cheapskate and be first to market. If Sol got one thing right, it was the move to 3G (Next G). The problem with Vodafone and Optus (to a lesser extent) is that they remain behind the 8 ball. Look at Telstra’s growth already in 4G. Vodafone haven’t even even really thought about it. Still rolling their 3G product out on 850MHz. If they had of been reall smart they would have went straight to 4G.

    To install the equipment you have got to have the capital to do it and you want a good product to go with it. Being a budget provider doesn’t give you capital to reinvest with. It pays the bills on what you have and nothing left to expand.

    I notice Optus is installing fibre like its the in thing around my area, so things might be looking up for their service. By the time they catch up to today’s Telstra, Telstra has moved forward.

    Those who whinge Telstra charges too much for its products should give themselves a good uppercut. Money makes the world go round. Those who want cheap, will only ever get what they pay for.

    • “The moral of the story don’t wholesale your network to all and sundry so that you can maintain control. Be prepared to use the best equipment, don’t be a cheapskate and be first to market”

      You’ll be in for a rude shock then, because Telstra’s signed on at least two providers to resell NextG in July that im aware of. ThinkMobile (incidentally probably the best australian-based start-up telco ive had the pleasure of working with for a while) and Dodo.

      “I notice Optus is installing fibre like its the in thing around my area, so things might be looking up for their service. By the time they catch up to today’s Telstra, Telstra has moved forward.”

      They’re out doing their half of the new JV, setting fibre or reconnecting existing fibre to Vodafone / Optus sites. Alot of the Optus Network has Dark Fibre attached, its just never been lit up in areas that have had low customer bases.

      • “You’ll be in for a rude shock then, because Telstra’s signed on at least two providers to resell NextG in July that im aware of. ThinkMobile (incidentally probably the best australian-based start-up telco ive had the pleasure of working with for a while) and Dodo.”

        True Master_T. But Telstra have restricted the data rate to less than 1.5Mbps. This is their way of confining congestion. Optus and Vodafone, on the other hand, don’t restrict data rate AND give lower priority to hirers access (ie calls and texts), hence dropouts on already congested networks are worse on those that DON’T own the network- that’s why I left Virgin. We don’t know if there’s a similar clause in Telstra’s agreements.

        • Just FYI, Virgin arent a tiered provider. They provide the whole speed, the whole service exactly as-is from Optus.

          TPG / Dodo / Live / Amaysim etc etc etc tiered providers

          There was a situation internally where we had Allphones & Telechoice stores complaining about Yes Optus Stores telling customers that Virgin was a second-rate provider, not infact Optus. Optus Managing Director of Networks cleared this up, that they are infact the same as Optus in every regard (minus the provision of Blackberry and Business Services) at a consumer level. Obviously we cant have store fronts saying the wrong thing, that’d be breaking the law. Needless to say, those stores have been disciplined and retrained already.

          With reference to the agreements with Telstra, the Think Mobile agreement’s tiered speed on NextG stops at 7.2mbps.

          • Interesting, cause guess where I got told Virgin was tiered…..an Optus store…. :D That was years ago now though.

            “With reference to the agreements with Telstra, the Think Mobile agreement’s tiered speed on NextG stops at 7.2mbps.”

            You got a link to that? Been trying to find the agreements myself. That actually doesn’t surprise me though, seeing as ThinkMobile only has access to NextG in the cities from their coverage maps- They’re just essentially giving basic NextG access, not HSPA+ (21Mbps) or DC(42Mbps). Their regional coverage is 900….Optus? or Vodafone?

            I thought though that Dodo is limited to 1.5Mbps, I read it….I just can’t find it now! Lol. I think it was mainstream, like SMH or something, but it could very well have been wrong and meant 7.2, same as ThinkMobile. If it is 1.5 though, It’s probably because it’s across more area so they want less impact in regional areas which may only share a few towers, compared to cities. That would be my way of looking at it anyway.

          • “With reference to the agreements with Telstra, the Think Mobile agreement’s tiered speed on NextG stops at 7.2mbps.”

            This is just knowledge via Think Mobile represenatives I’ve ran into throughout my travels with Vodafone represenatives. (Meeting them in storefronts).

            Unfortunately, its not my agreement – currently its not public knowledge. You’ll get to see it in July 2, so hold tight :)

  21. The reason I originally signed up with Voda, and I’m sure this is true of many others, was that it offered the cheapest call rates of the three, plus it gave Vodafone-to-Vodafone free call time. I knew that Voda didn’t have as good national coverage as Optus and Telstra, but money is tight so that’s where I went.

    Now I have an Android phone so I could use it for internet services. Except I can’t afford it because of the bloody-mindedness of Voadfone. I use a prepaid call service; $30 credit for 365 days or until I use up the credit. Stupidly, Voda don’t allow this credit to be used for internet services; only for phone calls. Instead I would have to buy an additional minimum of $50 credit for 500mb which would only last a month; use it or lose it. Therefore I have absolutely no inclination to blow my money on such a blatant rip off.

    If Voda allowed either the existing prepaid scheme to apply to their internet coverage, or allowed the $50 internet credit to last until it was actually used up, I’d buy some. As it is, I just don’t need the internet enough to enter into such a shonky deal.

    My point is that if Voda wants to attract new customers they must make their deals cheaper and easier to use than their current fair. Oh, and fix their incredibly hard to use robot call centre service, too.

  22. Vodafone are going to need a very long shovel to dig out of the hole. They have the spectrum to build the best 1800LTE in Australia yet they are sitting on it til they can get the performance from 3G network as this is probably the result of underinvestment in the back-haul. If VHA does go under the spectrum does not disappear and depending on what happens to the remaining would have to go throw the scarps.

    Whats also interesting is Optus has control of lets say 80MHz of 2.3GHz (4 X 20MHz Ch) and 80MHz of 3.4GHz spectrum in the larger capital cities if the Vivid deal goes throw and they have an expansive back-haul network. This sought of spectrum lineup has them in the box seat for a network (at least in the cities) that can rival Telstra for many years to come. Those bands aren’t fully developed and will take time to mature as such Optus can only use 10MHz paired even where they have more for the 1800MHz as they are re farming the 900MHz for HSPA.

    Optus could have more control than what this article puts on Optus as only one more 5MHz channel will be available for Telstra once the 3GIS network is shut down. Can Telstra keep the supply to the demand or will their spectrum hold off until 2015? Can Optus capitalize if Telstra struggles as spectrum is squeezed to its limits and vivid is approved with re-issued spectrum being granted to Optus. VHA looks like they are going to spill but…….. GAME ON.

  23. Vodafone only have themselves to blame. Telstra are not stupid, they saw the problems and they have very aggressively made their plans more affordable to come in for the kill. Why would you sign up with Optus when Telstra have by far the most far reaching and fastest network? The only problem I have as a Telstra customer now is the network is now congested at peak times in the cities, just like the data problems Optus and Vodafone have had, this is coming into effect with Telstra.
    While some Vodafone customers are expecting better network service, is that due to upgrades or simply because there is more available capacity due to the mass exodus? It might be a factor of both. I’m not convinced Vodafone have fixed much.
    Optus have been sleeping a bit, but I think their network was at near capacity and would not have coped well with taking on all the Vodafone customers. They might be waiting on 4G upgrades before they start trying to get people to change.

    • “Why would you sign up with Optus when Telstra have by far the most far reaching and fastest network?”

      Not Everywhere, it depends on where you live, although it mainly in area where Optus equipment is newer and the sites are marginal with no reason to upgrade either.

      “The only problem I have as a Telstra customer now is the network is now congested at peak times in the cities, just like the data problems Optus and Vodafone have had, this is coming into effect with Telstra.”

      If Telstra continue to add the amount of customers they have to of the following until more spectrum comes online. Telstra have had major 3G issues in my area. Only VHA is still unusable with both Telstra and Optus having plans for more major upgrades.

      Two things could happen:
      They need to change there network design and stop focusing on Macro sites in the congested areas as they will provide little speed increase compared to a bunch of smaller cells for a similar or in some cases a smaller price.

      Jack up the price to try and force some of the customers to leave. We still could have a major TelstraFail if things aren’t managed correctly.

      “Optus have been sleeping a bit”
      Been working on a lot of back-haul, there are sites around me (Warrnambool Vic) that are now fiber connected, I thought I’d never see the days, problem is spectrum but this should be fixed in the city areas for Optus when Vivid is closed and they have the equipment in place. For some financial stats for Optus yearly spend.
      Mobile network investment is $600million as well as $60Million that’s shared with back-haul costs IT infrastructure etc. They have increased since last year and should be adequate to deliver adequate services. Unlike VHA there network isn’t run into the ground as well as adequate back-haul resources to draw on. The network slewed down when they decided to significantly expand the network into areas that possible wont make a direct return.

  24. Vodafone has big issues in other systems too.

    Our after hours support mobiles are with Voda. They have never set us a bill despite many calls to their customer service line.

    Funny thing is, we used to get calls from th

    eir accounts department asking for payment.

  25. Y’know what? As a commercial entity I really dislike Telstra… have done so for years even back when they were called Telecom. Why? Because they’re expensive, sneaky, and a bully. For years my mobile was on ANYONE else but them… Optus, Vodafone, even OneTel (who quickly went bust), and most recently Virgin. I supported the underdog all the way, until recently. I work in an outer suburb of Brisbane (Wacol, to be precise) and in the last two years have more and more been relying on having mobile internet. I could get reasonable (not great, but ok) data coverage from Virgin (carried by Optus) in most places, and drop outs where you’d expect them. This was on a Nokia N95, then a Nokia N900, and most recently a Samsung SGS2. At work however the absolute best I could hope for was flaky internet, and quite frequently none at all. My work collegues ALL had the same problems EXCEPT for the ones using Telstra who had great coverage. I had about a dozen frustrating conversations with quite nice Filipino people who all told me that Wacol was on their map for 3G data coverage and asked me to reset my phone to no effect before FINALLY being put through to an Optus tech here in Australia. He confirmed my suspicions… that there was only one tower servicing that area and that while it was fine for voice it was intermittant at best for data. Worse, he informed me that Optus had NO plans to repair the tower in the next TWO YEARS!

    Two days later I’d secured free release from my Virgin contract (based on false advertising of data coverage at my workplace) and had signed a two year contract with Telstra. I still hate the fact that they’re sneaky, money-grubbing bullies BUT there’s no denying the fact that they have a GREAT mobile data coverage, and much better speeds than Voda or Optus at their best. I’d never even seen HSPDA or HSPA+ in Australia before getting onto Telstra. Best I could do with with Virgin or Optus EVER was 3G, and quite frequently it fell back to Edge!

    So, what can Vodafone & Optus do to “stop the rot”? PROVIDE A DECENT SERVICE, or at least a competitive one! We’re twelve years into the 21st century and we’re all mobile data hungry… if they give us the service we WANT rather than the service they tell us we should have, they’d see a lot more people going back to them… but if I can get better data service in third world asian countries than I can from the second and third largest telcos in Australia, why on earth would I or anyone else stay with them?

    • Great story Matt. The story, and the sentiment match mine almost exactly.

      I hate Telstra as a company. But when your choice is useless coverage with others or great coverage with bully-boy Telstra….what do people THINK consumers are gonna do??

      Brand Loyalty is great….but only when you’ve got useful coverage for that loyalty to apply….

  26. I wish the OP had actually looked at what he posted instead of looking at the last block of numbers and goes those are big so big in fact they are bigger than everyone else!!!! which if the guy had read what he wrote he’d notice that Telstra would be the smallest mobile op in Australia.

    The OP says Telstra is signing up heaps of people, but the numbers show a completely different story.

    There’s 6.4 million postopaid users this has been going up but the last half of last year it only went up by 400,000 users.

    In pre-paid it’s dropped overall.

    1H11 sees 116,000 pre-telstra owners get an extra sim or device.
    1H11 sees only 54,000 actual new accounts get set up

    2H11 sees an overall drop 14,000 multi accounts.
    2H11 sees an overall drop 22,000 new user accounts so Telstra lost just under half of 1H11 new user sign ups probably upgrading or changing to a post paid plan.

    Which would account for the 1H11 – 2H11 increase of 334,000 post paid accounts in 2H11. an increase of 333,000 post paid accounts. if you take the drop in pre-paid account being swapped to post paid.

    The other number to look at is the PSTN number that also has had a big drop in 2H11 I wonder if that’s also due to people swapping to bundles and mobile only accounts.

    So no I don’t agree with this posting at all, and the numbers posted by the guy himself even prove he hasn’t read or know what he actually posted.

    • Zag….ahhh, what?

      Telstra added:

      Post Paid- 301 000 1H11, 334 000 2H11, 338 000 1H12
      Pre Paid (unique)- 54 000 , Lost 14 000 , gained 67 000
      Mobile BB- 472 000, 340 000, 436 000

      In other words it added, total mobile subscribers of:

      927 000 in 1H11, 741 000 in 2H11 and 958 000 in 1H12

      For a total of 13 Million mobile operations in service.

      I don’t care which way you look at that, that’s massive. Yes, some will be converts from Landline, but the fact of the matter is, Telstra’s numbers are growing PHENOMENALLY fast.

      “Only” gained 400 000 post paid last half of the year??….400 000 is a HUGE number in 6 months. It’s almost 3% of the market (if we take the market to be 15 000 000 post paid mobile users). And they gained that 3 periods running, almost 1.2 MILLION post-paid customers. Vodafone lost that amount and it was a “collapse”. To also assume they all came from a modest drop in prepaid of 14 000 in the second half of last year…..doesn’t even make basic math sense??

  27. Well, I had a phone on contract with Optus, but their reception to my house and office was awful, so when I got the opportunity I jumped. To Telstra.

    My sister, on the other hand, is with Vodafone. She gets no data reception at her house, while my data’s fine there.

    People want decent data now, which isn’t the same as the decent call reception that Optus and Vodafone offered even a couple of years ago. Those carriers have to spend big money on their networks, or pull the plug because they can’t deliver what the customer needs.

  28. Can I just ask, I’ve seen the same financial report about a week ago (http://www.vodafone.com/content/dam/vodafone/investors/financial_results_feeds/preliminary_results_31march2012/dl_prelim2012.pdf) – where did you get the 128,000 number from?

    I only ask, because it says in that doc Vodafone Australia only lost 64,000. Vodafone Group’s report ONLY covers Vodafone Australia, NOT 3, not CJ’s and also does not include the MVNO’s on the Vodafone network. Unlike financial numbers for VHA, you don’t double up the customer adds/losses listed in a Vodafone report only because they count Vodafone, and not the rest

    The only way you can get a rough idea of TOTAL customer numbers incl Voda, 3, CJ’s and MVNO’s is to wait for Hutchison’s half yearly reports which count VHA’s customer numbers :)

  29. Let me get this right. . .

    Telstra invests in proper infrastructure to support mobile growth and prices traffic appropriately to minimise congestion as much as possible.

    Vodafone and Optus cut corners on infrastructure support for their mobile networks and oversubscribe their networks to chase short-term profit . . . . resulting in disastrous service outcomes and customer exodus.

    . . . RED ALERT. . . WARNING. . . .the government or regulators need to do something about Telstra.. . . .


    • Who said the government has to do something to Telstra?

      They’re doing nothing wrong. The problem is, if they end up becoming so dominant competition suffers, THEN we have a problem. But this is speculation. Optus and Vodafone have plenty of time to turn it around, but they have to do it now and well.

  30. Living in Wollongong(one of the largest regional centers in australia), they is a huge difference between the quality of service between the carriers. Optus is fine but the network is crowded. The low prices and good deals with plans it’s become the goto network for university students.
    This causes a congestion problem with makes it practically impossible to get a call through during peak hours at UOW.
    Vodafone is similar but the negative effect is increased by the quality of the network which here, is still subpar.
    While i on Vodafone i had 6 call dropouts in a 20min period. Cmon, clear weather, less them 1Km to the Vodafone mobile tower and it cant hold a connection. This isn’t unfamiliar to Vodafone customers in the Illawarra.

    Switching to Telstra 4G with the GalaxyS2 was the best decision. I find the plans not too unreasonable in value(although the data could be a little more to compare with Optus).

    Vodafone really needs to sort it out.

  31. I presume that FBB stands for “Fixed Broad Band” and I further presume that the “Fixed Bundles” would be broadband plus a phone and maybe a bundled mobile plan.

    That means Telstra is putting on more than 300k new fixed line internet connections every 6 months, or something like 900k fixed connections in 18 months (let’s round that to a million). In comparison, we can be generous and say that NBN put down 10k connections in the same time period, that means for every ONE new NBN fixed internet connection, there are ONE HUNDRED new fixed Telstra connections.

    They are dominating, not just in the mobile space…

    • But we keep being told by the NBN circus that fixed is dying/will die and wireless is the future…?

      So thank you (a well documented NBN critic) for the information to prove those others dead wrong ;-)

      So with one furphy out of the way, next…

      Telstra is outnumbering the NBN in fixed connections, wow what a revelation… a typical NBN critic who conveniently overlooks reality, which conflicts… Err, the NBN is only available in select areas (mostly still in trial mode) and Telstra is available pretty much everywhere (remember the last lime monopoly)?

      In other words, of course Telstra (and possibly iinet and Optus etc) will all outperform the NBN in this regards, as most Aussies do not have the NBN as a choice yet. You can’t sign up, if it ain’t there… *sigh*

      Take me for example, my contract is up in August (of course I could pay it out now) and I do not have NBN in my area, so I will of course look for a better deal.

      So regardless of what I do, as NBN is not available to me, you will add me to the non-NBN tally.

      *rolls eyes*

      • I believe the numbers listed are all BRAND NEW connections, as installed in the last 18 months. Some of them might be churn back from Optus perhaps, but in case you hadn’t heard Telstra is still installing copper right now, and since NBN killed off the independent greenfields fiber operators, in total MORE copper has gone in the ground as a consequence of the NBN that we would have had without it. Think about that, please.

    • “That means Telstra is putting on more than 300k new fixed line internet connections every 6 months, or something like 900k fixed connections in 18 months (let’s round that to a million). In comparison, we can be generous and say that NBN put down 10k connections in the same time period, that means for every ONE new NBN fixed internet connection, there are ONE HUNDRED new fixed Telstra connections.”

      Tel. The fact that you even TRIED to compare Telstra and the NBN, where Telstra has access to approx. 23 Million Australians and the NBN has access to approx. 30 000 Australians, shows how little you really do understand of the NBN.

      And if you ACTUALLY look at the table, Telstra in fact LOST over 100 000 PSTN phone subscribers. Some of them may be using Fixed BB with a separate VOIP provider, but it will be a VERY few. The others, will have either gone totally mobile, or likely have moved to another provider, who have access to the majority of Telstra infrastructure, while NBN, as I have said, are building their own and have currently passed around 30 000 customers.

      Please, if you are going to think rubbish like this, do not post it. Apart from anything, this is NOT an NBN article. Telstra are quite clearly dominating, for a number of reasons, in Mobile. They are the best provider because they have spent the money and effort to be so, not because of some given right to be.

      • Probably some of the negative PSTN’s went to mobile, some of them went into a “fixed bundle” which would include PSTN as well as data. If you want to nitpick about numbers, let’s get them right shall we? Including the three fixed categories over 18 months we get:

        1000 * ( ( 420 – 109 + 139 ) + ( 239 – 140 + 94 ) + ( 206 – 124 + 106 )) = 831000

        Now there’s some reasonably recent figures from ZDnet 11th April, 2012 suggesting NBN has 7292 paying customers all told (and that does include satellite).

        831000 / 7292 = 113.96

        So the ratio is actually WORSE than 100 to 1, of NEW installations, even taking into account those lost PSTN customers. Not only was my earlier quickie estimate very close, but you have demonstrated your lack of ability to do basic adding and subtracting. I often find a computer useful to help me, maybe you should learn to use one?

        No wonder you feel the need to try to tell other people they aren’t allowed to have their say.

        • Tel,
          I really don’t have time for people who want to produce rubbish for the sake of their argument.

          The number 831 000 I am not disputing. Never did. Once again, the fact that you believe Telstra “out sold” the NBN in teh last 18 months shows you are not interested in facts.

          Once AGAIN. Telstra have a possible customer base of, give or take a few tens of thousands who aren’t on the copper CAN at all, 23 Million Australians.

          The NBN have a total customer base, of around 30 00- 40 000 Australians. Even if NBN were to have TOTAL market share, something even NBN say is not going to happen, the MOST they could possibly have gained is 30 000- 40 000 Australians. 7292 is the number of ACTUAL connections on the NBN, not the number who’ve signed up because the NBN is available ALL over Australia.

          And please, DON’T say it is because it has Satellite. Would YOU sign up for satellite. I don’t even live in a city and I wouldn’t. I get better ADSL speeds than I would satellite, which isn’t saying much because my average speed is 6Mbps.

          You are perfectly entitled to your opinion, but an opinion is a point of view on a fact, it is NOT a belief in an INCORRECT fact, which is what you have.

  32. Being both in our mid-60’s, retired and me once working in Optus, it’s all down to coverage, coverage, coverage!

    We were on Vodafone for 8 years, now on Optus and living 23Km for Sydney’s CBD, yet we cannot take advantage of calls or long delayed text without standing on the driveway in the sun, rain day or night! We also have to use a Telstra sim card while touring if we leave the Pacific Hwy. No matter how “fantastic” the deals, how wanky the ads – just LISTEN to the customers, take funds from massive marketing,corporate boxes & lunches and plough into engineering (at least until you have coverage to offer)!

    Now with two ‘smart-phones’ we’re sick of dropped calls and “E” for download speeds, we’re heading from Optus to Telstra as it always is reliable & works!

    PS NBN wankers – we’re happy with 4.5Mbps speed being 5 KM from the exchange and it’ll be 3 years before our exchange gives us the NBN (and 24x7x15W of power consumption to our account), as the NBN hasn’t budgeted for the power requirements in “our” exchange. Then the happy gamers will have their great ‘PINGs” – but I bet the Doctors and hospital ER areas won’t have any spare time left to sit at their super fast screens for IC’s (Internet Consultations). Super fast rollouts funded by Governments are a great “gravy-train” as the recent one’s have shown. “Steady as she goes” as Telstra did in the 80’s and 90’s with Government Money, please!!

    • “PS NBN wankers – we’re happy with 4.5Mbps speed being 5 KM from the exchange and it’ll be 3 years before our exchange gives us the NBN (and 24x7x15W of power consumption to our account), as the NBN hasn’t budgeted for the power requirements in “our” exchange. Then the happy gamers will have their great ‘PINGs” – but I bet the Doctors and hospital ER areas won’t have any spare time left to sit at their super fast screens for IC’s (Internet Consultations). Super fast rollouts funded by Governments are a great “gravy-train” as the recent one’s have shown. “Steady as she goes” as Telstra did in the 80′s and 90′s with Government Money, please!!”

      BRISAN, while all of us appreciate comments about people’s individual situation with Vodafone/Optus/Telstra, this comment on the NBN is unnecessary, particularly the name calling.

      May I ask if you have read any of Delimiter’s article’s surrounding the NBN and what it could mean for the average Australian? There are many. And Delimiter is only one source. There are many ITnews sites in Australia. I also have my own blog, as do others who are interested and enthusiastic about the NBN and are willing to take the time to try and show people what the NBN can do for them. Can I suggest you read some of these?

      You may very well be happy with 4.5Mbps. I have no problem with that, but can I ask what you are paying? I would assume you also have a phone connection. Are you aware that, once NBN begin rolling out analogue phone connections integrated in the NTD on the side of houses, the bundles offered for phone and BB will, in all likelihood be cheaper than what you have now, at the 12/1 tier speed? Hence offsetting the small increase to your power bill in this unfortunate case (I would like to think however that NBNCo. will work to improve this situation, particularly if you were to engage them about it and maybe engage the surrounding area also. NBNCo. have been shown to be receptive to communities) There are many other possible benefits OTHER than e-health, which still has a long way to go in Australia, even WITH the NBN pushing forward with innovation. Many of the articles I have mentioned discuss these.

      Finally, you speak of “steady as she goes as Telstra did in the 80’s and 90’s with government money, if you please”. Again, may I suggest you look up details on the NBN?
      It was, in fact, NOT Telstra in the 80’s and 90’s, as it was still Telecom Australia, whom was owned by the government. Telecom Australia/Telstra have not had access to the largest portion of government funding for telecommunications since they were partially privatised in 1996, and then again in 1998 and 2006. You may or may not have had many problems with Telstra since it became so, but you need only look somewhere in your street to find someone who has.
      Lastly, the NBN is GOVERNMENT owned. It will, essentially, be a return to Telecom Australia days, with one government owned company owning and running the vast majority of the country’s infrastructure.

      I ask you to take some time and read about the NBN. It may or may not change your opinion, but everyone should have all the information they need to make that opinion.

  33. Sure they are growing at Telstra but Telstra with the bulk of users on 850MHZ is facing capacity issues – their network i nCBD has ground to a halt. Optus performs better as they have 4 blocks of U2100 & recently refarmed U900 from 3G. Optus bough Vivid Wireless so has access to 100MHZ block in the 23oo band, suitable for 4G LTE. CBA Outlook report says that Optus will be most competitive in 4G in the future… SingTel – a huge APAC giant has deep pockets and will continue to invest, to remain competitive – NBN will eventually provide more ubiquits backhaul so teh landscape will continually change. Carriers will be judged on Apps and value adds, more than network strength as 4G rolls out in teh future. They will aim to take on Google, Facebook et al – and Optus & Vodafone have the biggest strength here as they leverage 1 BN mobile subscribers – great scale for developing future apps and services on mobility.

  34. Is Telstra killing the competition or is it the competition’s failure to make the necessary infrastructure investment that is killing them?

    Vodaphone is one of the largest telcos in the world. SingTel is roughly the same size as Telstra and government backed. Both are in a better posiition to fund infrastructure spend than Telstra.
    Why didn’t they?

  35. Without planning to, Telstra caned the other mobile carriers with its rapid 3G rollout. The real reason it was rapid was that it bought in the expertise and wanted to minimise its spend on those people. But Telstra’s marketing people don’t miss too much and they pushed 3G for all it was worth and took the big spending GSM customers from the other carriers.

    Telstra then completely fumbled the iPhone launch, If Optus had been more nimble and less greedy it could have pushed Telstra into a 10% market share and marked it as the network for cardigan wearers.

    This time with the 4G technology bump Telstra deliberately planned to repeat their 3G accident — roll out a new technology widely and rapidly and use it to punish competitors. This works especially well because the new technology has few users, and thus high speeds and no congestion. It has worked again, and you really do have to ask questions of Telstra’s competitors for not seeing it coming.

    But Telstra again haven’t recognised the power of a popular handset. I’ve no idea why they didn’t move heaven and earth to make sure there was a 4G Galaxy S III at launch. Telstra are just very lucky that its just a very fine handset, rather than the cult sensation the iPhone was, and is.

    Optus’s network investment strategy has always been financially-driven, not strategically-driven. They want to “sweat the asset” and earn every last cent of revenue from every dollar of capex. That strategy just sets them up to lose market share with each technology upgrade — they’ll always be late to the party, whilst also never offering outstanding value.

    Voda are reaping what they sowed. Marketing doesn’t help because the lesson that Voda is cheap crap has become generational knowledge. Kids who joined Voda at 15 because they had no financial choice experienced a poor network. Kids on other networks who tried to call those kids also experienced Voda. You’re not going to get those people trying Voda now that they are 25 and happy to spend a bit more for a network which works. Mobile plans aren’t breakfast cereal, you can’t buy a box, taste it, and leave it at the back of the cupboard.

    The fact that SingTel and Voda are international companies works against their Australian operations. If Telstra loses Australia then it is sunk. If Voda loses Australia then its executives may well feel happy to be rid of a problem child.

  36. some good commentary here…of course mix of fact and fiction but as always perceptions are important

    i was a vodafone customer for 15 years and indeed use to work for them; however the performance for me has not improved so i finally moved to telstra…yes, i have an iphone 4s, but it works well everywhere i go

    vodafone has a lot of outsourced people/activity and it seems many left within are disconnected from the real world, dont know what they dont know, or are keen to get out. so i dont see a lot changing in the near term….hopefully the new CEO will see this and fix his organisation. we need the competition

    now in terms of optus, yes they have a lot of spectrum now, but dont think they do have deep pockets: singtel is a bureaucracy and needs to spend on its Bharti assets which really suck cash in a low ARPU market. they have an opportunity, for sure, but i think they will always be a step behind Telstra even if they do find the money. also the spectrum they have from Vivid aint very useful right now as there are limited or no mobile devices in that band, only for fixed wireless (like NBN wireless).

    we need optus and vha for competition, and i think they will get better and improve, but it will take time and a lot of brand repair in VHA’s case, which could take years. right now i dont see any likelihood that telstra will be challenged for a long time esp as with their deal with NBN they have a whole lot more cash coming to stay ahead…

  37. As always interesting and (generally) insightful commentary here…

    I moved to Optus a couple of years ago because of Telstra’s appalling customer service.
    My wife stayed with Telstra because we visit regional areas in WA and no other provider even pretends to give a rats about regional WA. This way we were always guaranteed to have one phone that had coverage.
    More and more, just like tens of thousands of others, we use our phones (a HTC Desire for her and a Galaxy for me) to browse the web while we travel. If we both take our phones out at the same time and both launch browsers at the same time my wife will, invariably, have the result before my search engine has fully launched.
    Nothing beats the best network.
    I understand Telstra charge $tupid and their customer service is still the most appalling of any company I ever have to deal with but still I can’t wait until my current contract expires and I can sign back up to Telstra.
    Four more months and I’ll be joining the hordes on Telstra and I will sigh a big sigh of relief.

  38. Concerning customer service from Telstra, I will present the facts of a recent appeal to Telstra for a phone line fault service.

    Wednesday night this week my mother informed me that her home phone was not operational. This was serious as she is elderly and has a phone necklet button connected to her phone to call for assistance should she need urgent attention. I called Telstra, explained the situation and was assured that the problem would be fixed either that night or early the next day. Thursday morning 7.30 the technician called to say that the problem had been rectified. Great service Telstra and thanks to all involved it is much appreciated.

  39. Guys, Telstra is overrated. I am with vodafone and its as good and sometimes better then my friend who is with telstra. The only place vodafone struggles is in the country. And anyway Telstra is a small company only based in Australia. Whilst Vodaofne is all around the world. Italy, UK, Greece, Germany, Europe.

  40. Johnathan you must move in exalted circles to call Telstra a “small” company. Oh and how wonderful that Vodafone “only” struggles in the country which incidentally is 99 percent of Australia. I was with Voda but threw my phones away when travelling out of the major cities. Go first class pal life is too short to drink the house wine.

Comments are closed.