Telstra improves profits, cites customer service focus

Australian incumbent Telstra has increased its annual revenues by 1.9 per cent to A$25.98bn (US$23.58bn) for the year to end June 2013, while net profit jumped 12.9 per cent to A$3.9bn. CEO David Thodey said the firm’s performance was down to improvements in customer service and focus on growth businesses. The firm added 1.3 million mobile subscribers during the 12-month period.

“We know our customers value extensive coverage, fewer drop outs on calls and reliable mobile data speeds and we invested $1.2bn in our mobile network during the year to deliver on this. This investment includes expanding the reach of our 4G network which now covers 66 per cent of the population and is on target to reach 85 per cent by the end of the year,” said Thodey.

He added that Telstra is keen to continue improvements that it has made in customer satisfaction. The number of complaints to the Australian regulator fell for the third year in a row, he said, and 40 per cent of the firm’s customer base is interacting with Telstra online.

Thodey highlighted one particular initiative designed to reduce bill shock for data use and roaming, adding that others are underway. “Listening to the voice of our customer ensures we remain focused on improving the level of service our customers expect. Customers are telling us we are improving, but that we have a long way to go before more of them become advocates,” he said.

Telstra is one of the most advanced LTE operators in the world. In Q1 this year the firm ranked number nine,  ahead of Softbank, in terms of LTE subscriptions and was the only top ten player not in the three leading LTE markets of the US, South Korea and Japan.The firm launched LTe in 2011 and growth has been steep; in the six months to end March 2013, Telstra increased its LTE customer base by 230 per cent, reaching 2,047,000 subscriptions. GSM subscriptions are plummeting, down to an estimated 461,675 at the end of the first quarter 2013 , according to WCIS Plus—just over three per cent of Telstra’s total customer base.


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