Telstra willing to renegotiate NBN terms

If new government comes into play, Telstra's willing to come to the table

If a new government comes into play in September’s election, Telstra has stated it's willing to renegotiate its deal, if needed.

“We will continue to work constructively with the government of the day,” Telstra deputy CFO, Mark Hall, said at the Macquarie Australia Equities Conference. “Should the government or policy approach change, we will sit down to renegotiate, if that is needed. Our position is that we will act in the best interests of our shareholders and maintain the value of the current deal for our shareholders.”

The telco giant also revealed figures on the uptake of its 4G services, stating the customer base has grown to 2.1 million, since the launch in September 2011.

This involves 1.4 million handsets, 150,000 tablets, 370,000 dongles and 225,000 Wi-Fi hotspots.

In February, Telstra revealed plans to broaden the scope of its 4G network adding a second wireless frequency of 900MHz spectrum to cater for increasing use of mobile devices in regional areas.

It was also trialing the next generation of wireless 4G technology, also known as LTE-Advanced. It plans to introduce it later this year in areas with heavy traffic demand.

Telstra is also in the midst of trialing heterogeneous networks (HetNets) to expand network capacity in metro areas and sporting stadiums.

Hall said a key strategy for the telco was to grow into the Asian market place and that its international business was delivering double digit growth. It recently signed a multi-million dollar deal with Jetstar, signalling its largest global contract to date.

Last month it inked a $1.1 billion deal with the Department of Defence.

Hall said its guidance for 2013, was unchanged and its expecting low single digit growth for both total income and EBITDA.

“Consistent with our comments in February, the outlook for EBITDA growth is at the top end of the guidance range,” he said. “Our strategic focus remains unchanged and most importantly, we’re on track for full year guidance.”

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