The Five Coolest Numbers In Telstra’s Yearly Results

While all the share market types will be poring over incomprehensible stuff like free cashflow in Telstra’s just-announced financial results and freaking out about revenue declines, we’re more interested in the technology. So here are the five figures that jumped out at us. (ZOMG: so much mobile broadband!)Picture by Zelda Richardson

1. One in ten Australians is using Next G mobile broadband
There are 2.5 million mobile broadband connections active with Telstra. 616,000 thousand signed up over the last half-year, which means that there’s a new customer every 30 seconds or so. While the speed claims Telstra makes don’t always measure up as its popularity grows, the appeal of the service seems pretty undeniable.

2. An indeterminate number of Australians are dumping Telstra for their landline
Telstra’s presentation to the market notes that the “annualised deactivation rate” for PSTN connections is 20.5%. In the initial version of this post, I assumed that Telstra was using the word “deactivation” in its ordinary sense and that this meant one in five customers had switched off. Subsequently, Telstra PR contacted me to explain that deactivation numbers included people who moved house, some of whom then reconnected. The actual number of quitters, it seemed, was 7% (or, to put it another way, one in three Telstra customers who move house don’t reconnect).

Whatever number you pick, it’s actually lower than last year, but still means lots of people have either given up on having a landline altogether, or bundled in a VOIP solution. Both of which are very sensible ideas that can save you a lot of money.

3. We’re not that fussed on the T-Box or T-Hub . . .
Despite all that Masterchef cross-promotion, total sales of the T-Box and T-Hub are 385,000 units, and only 21,000 were sold in the last six months. That’s not an utter disaster, but it doesn’t suggest a massive audience of people wanting curated content.

4. . . . though we seem to quite like movies and sport.
A total of 1.8 million movies were downloaded over those devices in the quarter. That’s quite a lot of movies, but also less people than would typically watch a single episode of Australia’s Got Talent. That said, Telstra now has 40 separate device partnerships for its BigPond Movies service. It also doubled the number of people watching its live AFL streams.

5. Complaints are dropping, but not fast enough
Telstra has a stated target of reducing complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman by 30%. It saw a 6% improvement in complaint rates during this financial year, so things are getting better, but not as good as the company or its customers would like.

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