Telstra deal with power company aims for home market

Telstra expects to announce by the end of May a deal with a power company to deliver joint services to the residential market, gaining competitive advantage through a joint billing system.

Telstra expects to announce by the end of May a deal with a power company to deliver joint services to the residential market.

Managing director Peter Williamson won’t name the company at this stage but says the plan is to bundle in the telephony costs.

“The ducting and power lines in place make things easier,” he says. “It will mean one bill, one label and one payment method, which will make the service highly competitive.”

Telstra recently celebrated one year of full operations in New Zealand. Previously it was an international correspondent liaison office, with just a few staff and doing $70,000 a month in billings.

Williamson says the organisation now has 60 staff and is billing 1000 customers around $2 million a month. It has an exchange in Auckland--it will open a Wellington exchange in July--and four multiplexer sites in other parts of the country.

“I expect we’ll be a $100 million company in the July-June 1997-98 year,” he says.

“Our involvement in Sky Tower gives a new range of options in Auckland, such as microwave links, and we’re looking at doing the same in Wellington, from our premises there.

“We’ve got our interconnect agreements in place, and we have taken ownership of the Sprintnet global frame relay network.”

He says Telstra has introduced more products in one year than Clear has done in three. The one miss has been a mobile offering, which Williamson had earlier predicted would be available by the end of 1996.

“We’re still negotiating with the various players--we’re still talking to all the parties. I hope sanity will prevail in the near future and we will be able to offer a mobile product.”

He says Telstra wants to offer as much local content as possible. “We need partners who have the smarts to add value. That may mean card platforms, Internet providers, even customer premises equipment providers. That’s the basis for us becoming a one-stop shop.

“We’ll get there by a mix of investment and partnerships.”

An ISDN offering will be rolled out this year, compliant with the European ETSI standard. “Currently, Telecom’s ISDN isn’t compliant with the European standard,” he says. “We’ll bring that in and offer transtasman services, hopefully to specific buildings. It will certainly be cheaper than Telecom’s ISDN.

“We’re looking at offering it to sites where tenants can take advantage because of the economics of the building they’re in.

“It’s part of what I call topographical marketing, in terms of allocating services.”

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