news Telstra has announced it will spend up to an extra $3 billion over three years on a range of investments aimed to improve its networks and “digitise and simplify” customer service.
The investment is a “strategic commitment” aimed to “significantly improve customer experiences”, according to Telstra CEO Andrew Penn, who added that details of the investment programme would be “progressively confirmed” during FY 2017 to FY 2019.
This would allow the telco to “maintain strategic advantage in a heavily competitive environment”, he said.
The investments will be aligned with Telstra’s capital management framework and would target returns “in excess of its return on invested capital”.
As part of Telstra’s plan to offer a “seamless and simple customer experience”, short-term actions to remove customer “pain points” would be followed by “more significant and longer term improvement of the customer experience focused on digitising and simplifying large parts of the business”, Penn said.
As part of the process, older technologies and systems that “slow down and complicate how customers are served” will be retired.
A “significant proportion” of the investments will go towards transforming Telstra’s networks.
“Our networks and the products and services they support are integral to the Telstra brand,” said Penn. “Network differentiation is a long-standing contributor to our success, underpinning our clear market leadership and shareholder returns.”
A number of “architectural advances” such as virtualisation and increased automation will help build a “dynamic and programmable next-generation network”, according to the CEO.
Telstra aims to further boost capacity in key networks to cater for increasing demand for core services and undertake the ongoing development of 4G network capabilities as the foundations are laid for 5G, LTE-broadcast, voice over LTE and the Internet of Things.
The changes will further differentiate support for consumer and enterprise customers, recognising the “often unique” requirements of larger business partners.
Reflecting the rapid increase in data consumption in recent years and taking into account the ongoing NBN rollout, Telstra will also invest in its fixed network services, particularly in ADSL service areas.
Investing in digitisation is also a “critical component” of the additional funding, Penn said, building on attempts in recent years to remove manual processes.
Telstra’s digitisation program will include expanding digitally-enabled sales and service channels, as well as adding capability to better pre-empt issues faced by customers.
The firm said the development of a flexible, software-defined network architecture would mean new capabilities can be fully integrated with sales and service channels and “born digital”.
Further, a simpler and easier-to-understand product architecture would improve the way in which products are delivered, Telstra said.
Image credit: Telstra