Telstra fires back at Vodafone on state of competition

“We didn’t do this as an engineering exercise,” says Telstra.

Competition has driven Telstra’s network build, the top Australian telco said in response to claims from Vodafone Hutchison Australia's CEO, Bill Morrow, that effective competition does not exist.

“We didn’t do this as an engineering exercise,” the Telstra spokesman said. “Competition forced us to keep stretching ourselves to provide the best possible service to our customers.”

At an American Chamber of Commerce event last week, Morrow urged government to support policies that scale back Telstra’s “regulatory favour”. In particular, Morrow protested high lease-line costs charged by Telstra to connect competitors’ mobile base stations. He also questioned how Telstra will spend the $11 billion it’s getting from the government to transfer its customers to the National Broadband Network (NBN).

“We’re proud that we’ve built the world’s leading mobile network in Australia,” the Telstra spokesman said. “Getting to the position we’re in today took a lot of capital investment and some big judgement calls. Our total investment since launching Next G has been $3.5 billion.

“We’re particularly proud that we were able to achieve this on a level playing field against some of the biggest multi-national telecommunications companies in the world.”

Vodafone and other competitors have said before that the NBN will help balance the playing field because it will enable many companies to sell technically-equivalent broadband services.

Vodafone is not alone in seeking regulatory changes to enhance competition. Earlier this week, a coalition including Vodafone urged more content regulation to prevent exclusives for Telstra.

Follow Adam Bender on Twitter: @WatchAdam

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Tags regulatoryBuildpolicyregulationgovernmentVodafone Hutchison AustraliaTelstracompetitionnetworkupgrades

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