Optus eyes fixed-line growth
Optus is renewing its focus on its fixed-line business after slow mobile subscriber growth in a flat market.
The country's second-largest mobile operator has appointed a telco industry veteran, Martin Mercer, to lead the fixed-line strategy as the national broadband network is being built.
"It is about the time to shine a bright light back on the fixed business and grow it with the same focus, intensity and passion that we have grown the mobile business over the years," Mr Mercer said.
Optus has experienced substantial growth in the mobile market over recent years, but has now stalled. It added just 53,000 new customers in the past six months while Telstra had attracted more than 600,000 customers in the same period.
As a result, it is looking to its fixed-line business for growth.
"For a long time, Optus has become in many respects a mobile company first and a broadband company second," Mr Mercer said. "Under Kevin's [Optus chief executive Kevin Russell] leadership, he recognises that we need to manage two parts of our business equally."
Optus sees the national broadband network as the key to its fixed-line strategy and business growth opportunity.
"NBN passes a lot of households where we don't have infrastructure. It significantly expands the accessible market," he said. "In many of these areas, we have mobile customers but no ability to provide broadband services."
The $37 billion national fibre network afforded a great opportunity for Optus to "cross-sell" to customers who already had mobile services with it.
Mr Mercer, CEO of Vividwireless before joining Optus, said price would not be an important differentiator in the NBN world, where all internet services providers are able to access the NBN on equal wholesale terms. Rather, "customers experience" and "bundling" would be at the heart of Optus' NBN strategy, he said.