Telstra 'here forever' says chairman

Telstra wouldn't have bought Clear if the government hadn't established the office of the telecommunications commissioner, and now that Telstra has made that investment, 'we're going to be here forever', says chairman Bob Mansfield.

Telstra wouldn't have bought Clear if the government hadn't established the office of the telecommunications commissioner, and now that Telstra has made that investment, "we're going to be here forever", says chairman Bob Mansfield.

By 2004, TelstraClear should be "a business that's past the need for more cash," Mansfield, who was in New Zealand last week, says.

He concedes that frustrating as TelstraClear's wrangles with Telecom over interconnection and wholesaling are, Telstra has been no angel in its dealings with Telecom subsidiary AAPT across the Tasman.

"We've been pretty good at delaying things in Australia, like Telecom is in New Zealand."

He draws parallels between Telstra's investment in New Zealand and Telecom's holdings in Australia, "but we're a bit different to Telecom going into Australia, because it's a case of the small guy going into the big guy's market and we're the other way round."

Mansfield says 10% of Telstra's revenue is from its overseas investments, but in terms of profits, the offshore contribution "is nothing like that".

He queries Telecom's complaints about its TSO obligations, pointing out that in Australia, Telstra claimed its equivalent to TSO obligations cost it $A1.7 billion, which the Australian regulator knocked back to $A211 million.

"If the figure for Australia, with its geography, is $A211 million, how can it be $425 million in New Zealand?"

Wholesaling is a profitable activity for Telstra, generating 11% of its revenues and Telecom should open up its network, he says.

"We're not suggesting we should get a free ride on Telecom's network, but when you have multiple telecommunications services on the same network, prices are lower."

Regarding Telstra's commitment to broadband, "it will be as ubiquitous as mobile phones one day". but he says similar technological breakthroughs like television and mobile phones took 10 years to reach full uptake and broadband is no different.

"Broadband is definitely a source of growth, but you don't throw money at it."

To those who claim Telstra isn't spending enough on broadband, Mansfield told the audience at an Auckland business lunch that the carrier once suggested a $50 million fund to fuel broadband be set up, with Telstra to put in $10 million and other interested parties the rest.

"The others wouldn't put anything up."

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags Telstra

More about AAPTAAPTTelstraClearTelstra Corporation

Show Comments
[]