How Telstra's Growth Creates A Speed Hump

Telstra acquired another 338,000 contract mobile phone customers and 9.8 million prepaid mobile users in the last six months, along with 436,000 mobile broadband customers. It now has 6.4 million contract mobile customers, 3.3 million prepaid customers and 2.7 million mobile broadband users. That's good news for Telstra shareholders, but it underlines a dilemma for consumers and the company: if Telstra doesn't constantly keep installing new network equipment, speeds for everyone are going to keep getting slower over time.

Telstra certainly has an aggressive rollout policy, most evident recently in its rollout of LTE-based services with 4G branding. We've seen impressive results with those services, both on mobile broadband and the HTC Velocity handset. But both those tests were conducted when the services were new and had just a handful of subscribers. As more people sign up, the performance invariably slows, because there is only so much bandwidth to go around. We saw that with the dual-channel Ultimate services, and we'll see that with LTE as well. With 100,000 4G dongles already sold, it might not take very long.

As long as successor networks keep getting lined up and coverage on existing services is enhanced, there shouldn't be a major performance hit. But it's always worth remembering: the mobile broadband speed you get today may not be the mobile broadband speed you get tomorrow. In that respect, fixed lines still have major advantages.


Comments

    98 MILLION prepaid mobile users?

      Sounds right. I remember reading 6 months ago that Telstra only had -94.7 million prepaid customers.

        Even so, that's an impressive +3.3 Million Prepaid Customers today!
        :-)

    I blinked and Australia's population exploded. Or does everyone in the country have 5 prepaid mobile accounts?

      and in just the past 6 months..
      Didn't you get yours in the post?
      I have 17 prepaid Telstra Accounts now.

      That is part of the Libs version of the NBN, everyone needs 5 mobile devices to use as a bonded connection to be able to get a half decent speed and reliable connection.

      Seriously though, Angus i wanna know how you can type out the phrase "98 million prepaid mobile users in the last six months" without a few alarms going off. Or was the bacon in that milkshake tainted and affected your numeracy skills ?

        Yeah that's why I'm content to let Gillard stay as PM for the rest of this term, the only good thing Labor has done is the NBN, and if they invest enough money into it now it'll be too late for Abbot and Turnbull to stop come next election. Just a shame about all the other stupid shit they're doing.

    It could be worse. They could be Vodafone.

    Yeah I think we need a citation on that 98 mil.

    98000 i'm guessing

    Unless Telstra have expanded overseas I somewhat doubt they gained 98 million prepaid customers

    They are saying 100,000 + usb dongles over at http://www.aussie4g.com/2012/02/100000-using-telstra-4g.html
    With the htc handset, it must be pushing close to 150,000??? Awesome!

    Telstra *do* constantly upgrade and install new network equipment. It's keeping up that is the challenge.

    "Telstra continued to attract new customers in the half year, adding:

    958,000 domestic mobile customers, including 338,000 postpaid handheld and 436,000 mobile broadband customers
    106,000 fixed broadband customers
    166,000 T-Box® and T-Hub® services
    206,000 customers on bundled multi-product plans, with the total bundled base now more than 1.2 million."

    http://www.telstra.com.au/abouttelstra/media-centre/announcements/telstra-delivers-revenue-profit-and-customer-growth-guidance-confirmed.xml

    This already is an issue in Melbourne CBD.

    Telstra customer support admitted that Mobile Broadband access in areas of the CBD (specifically Bourke St, Melbourne QV and Collins St) is crippled during peak hours because of the many customers moving from Vodafone.

    They expect to increase the number of network equipment but there's no specific date.

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