Telstra Eyes Tablets As Mobile Slows

Written by Oonagh Reidy     27/05/2014 | 13:04 | Category: NOTEBOOKS & TABLETS

Telstra's mobile machine continues to rage on, but growth will slow, execs warned yesterday.

Telstra Eyes Tablets As Mobile SlowsMobile growth is the telco's principal driver of revenues and is continuing to grow market share despite an overall slowdown, according to Telstra Mobile Update released yesterday.

Mobile growth surged 6.4% or $298 million to $4.9bn in the first half of fiscal 2014 compared to H1 2013, contributing almost half of Telstra's total revenue. It was the highest growth spurt since 2010. 

Handsets grew 6.8%, mobile broadband was up 11% and service revenues all rose. Telstra has almost 15.8 million mobile subscribers - up 1.4 million on 12 months ago. 

Mobile is more key than ever for Telstra, as traditional business streams like Fixed line dry up. Telstra Media, Data and IP all suffered a revenue drop in the past year. 

However, in the second half of this financial year, the mobile market continues to slow, warned Warwick Bray, Group MD Mobile and Wireline, citing new opportunities to capture mobile customers in tablets, M2M and the 'internet of things'. 

''A lot of people who want a mobile phone already have a mobile phone but there is more growth to come. We believe there is an enormous opportunity to have more mobile subscribers, which is about more connected tablets and machine-to-machine.'' 

By end of last year Telstra has almost 3 million handset customers on its 4G network and 400,000 using 4G tablets. "Demand for tablets continues to grow," says Bray.

Telstra is targeting business tablet users, sales persons and tradespeople releasing productivity apps including CRM app Aris, Kony and GeoOp launched in 2013. Machine 2 machine (M2M) revenues grew 7% in H1 to $42m and cited 'key verticals' in transport/ logistics, financial services/retailer services and healthcare. 

It is also plugging into its competitive advantage with the nations largest mobile coverage at 99.3% of the population and the largest 4G network, as the battle for 4G mobile customers between Optus and Vodafone intensifies. 

Tablets continue to be hugely popular with JB Hi-Fi citing iPad, Samsung Galaxy Notes, Microsoft Surface and other Androids among its top sellers.