2010 Australia - Telco Company Profiles - Telstra and Optus

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Last updated: 27 Oct 2010 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 87

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

This annual publication provides the reader with an overview of the major telecommunications providers. The publication provides substantial analyses of the market in 2010, revenue, revenue growth, statistics and forecasts.

Topics covered include:

  • Industry revenue overviews, revenue growth statistics and analysis for the telecommunications market between 2000 and 2010 by major telecommunications provider
  • Telstra Corporation – company overview, operating statistics and financial statistics
  • Australian National Broadband Network – Telstra
  • Optus – company overview, operating statistics, financial statistics and analysis
  • Optus – the network

Researcher:- Paul Budde
Current publication date:- October 2010 (16th Edition)
Next publication date:- October 2011

Executive Summary

Telstra and Optus battle moves to the NBN

Industry revenue overview

BuddeComm estimates that the overall telecoms services revenue exceeded $41 billion in 2010, reflecting the mildness of the downturn in Australia compared with other countries. However growth is likely to remain very subdued in 2011 and 2012. This is attributable to the decline in 2009/10 in key Telstra segments such as its fixed line business.

While Telstra has successfully defended its market share in the past the carrier no longer expects this to continue. In particular it reported an accelerating decline in its fixed line business. As a result of this, in June 2010 its share of the total market was just over 60% and this is expected to decline further in 2011 and 2012.

Optus’s share of service revenues continues to languish at between 21% and 22%. However Telstra’s inability to sustain its growth suggests that even with subdued growth Optus’s share could surpass 23% in 2011 and 2012. Although the Vodafone and Hutchison merger created a significant competitor to Optus the full potential of the VHA business has not yet been realised in its share of total industry revenue.


Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications provider, offering a full range of telecom services throughout Australia, including basic access services to most homes and businesses, local and long-distance telephone call services, and mobile and Internet services. This report gives an overview of Telstra’s main areas of operation, strategic business units, local and international subsidiaries, and a brief financial result summary, as well as key operating statistics in the areas of network and operations data, billable traffic data, and mobile, broadband and pay TV subscribers up to mid-2010. An overview of Telstra’s Next Generation Network and ADSL network is also provided.

The report also provides financial results for Telstra for FY2008-FY2010, together with an overview of the key highlights during each period. Detailed financial statistics and comparisons are given for each of Telstra’s service areas including mobile, Internet and Internet protocol solutions, public switched telephone network, and international operations.

Soon after the government announced the National Broadband Network in April 2009, Telstra finally accepted that change was inevitable and it acted swiftly. The company announced its support for the NBN and its willingness to work together with the government. The company also put its weight behind the trans-sector concept, which will be the avenue to generating new revenue. Negotiations were launched, with the government investigating how Telstra could best participate. These negotiations have been complex and tough, and they are continuing. An initial agreement to negotiate further was signed in December 2009, followed by the signing of a Heads-of-Agreement in June 2010.


Sensis is Telstra Corporation’s advertising subsidiary and Australia’s leading information resource. Since its inception in 1991 the company’s core business has been advertising through its White and Yellow Pages print directories, which are distributed to 97% of Australian metropolitan households. Other divisions include the Sensis search portfolio, including sensis.com.au, Sensis 1234 and Sensis Mobile; CitySearch, an online city guide; and Whereis products and services which deliver location and navigation services.

Sensis is also a partner in some of China’s most popular websites including real estate and home furnishings website, SouFun.com (sold); auto websites Autohome.com and Che168.com; and digital devices websites IT168.com and PCPop.com.cn.


Optus offers a range of communications services including mobile, national and long-distance services, local and international telephony, business network services, Internet and satellite services and subscription TV. This report provides an overview of the main divisions within Optus, including consumer, business, small and medium business, and wholesale and satellite. A breakdown of key operating statistics is provided for Internet, broadband, voice, and pay TV services, along with highlights of the company’s financial results.

Financial summaries for Optus are provided for the years 2009 and 2010. For the latest financial year, results include revenue and EBITDA for each main operating division of mobile, business, wholesale, consumer and SMB fixed; revenue breakdowns for each service division of mobile, voice, Internet, pay TV, data and IP, satellite, ICT and managed services; plus a detailed breakdown of revenue within each of these service divisions. An analysis of Optus’s 2010 financial results and a market analysis for 2010 are also included.

The Optus customer access network is comprised of a fibre and an HFC network.

  • The fibre network serves major business customers via Optus-laid fibre in all capital cities, major suburban business districts and major regional centres, and also provides transmission capacity between the Optus network facilities (exchanges and fibre access nodes), and to many of Optus’s DSLAM sites.
  • The HFC network is a wholly Optus-owned network used for telephony, high-speed data and pay television to residential, non-business customers.

The company has 3G services in Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth and is expanding to many regional areas. In 2010 Optus began trialling LTE technology in Australia in a bid to establish a regionally compatible LTE network to enhance and enable mobile broadband services.

The company is also encouraging businesses to use cloud services over the IP network, which were launched after successful trials during early to mid-2010.

Market highlights:

  • Telstra still dominates the overall Australian telecoms market with more than a 60% market share of overall revenues in 2009/2010.
  • Telstra’s annual results for 2010 showed declining revenue in most segments, and this is expected to fall further during 2011 and perhaps into 2012.
  • Telstra and NBN Co entered into a Financial Heads of Agreement on the rollout of the NBN.
  • There were a number of changes to the Sensis group which impacted the growth rates during both FY2009 and FY2010.
  • Optus has continued the rollout of its 3G dual band mobile network, with voice coverage now reaching over 97% of the Australian population.
  • Optus mobile continued to grow, with service revenue increasing 13% on strong demand for smartphones, mobile broadband, and popularity of cap plans.
  • In 2010 Optus began trialling LTE technology in Australia

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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