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Telstra to spend extra $3 billion on networks, digitalisation

Telstra has committed to an extra $3 billion capital expenditure spend over the next three years as it continues its transition away from “plain old telephony” and from wireline ownership.

Announcing Telstra’s 2016 results, including a $5.8 billion profit, CEO Andy Penn emphasised the need for such ongoing investment if companies are to keep pace with the tide of digital innovation and related customer expectations. 

Though Telstra hasn’t said where the money will be spent, no doubt a large portion will go to developing the capacity and resilience of its mobile networks. While Telstra’s results showed it has not suffered any significant loss of market share as a result of network outages this year, the pressures on network performance can only increase as the number and volume of digital services multiples. 

But investment in core networks – including 5G capabilities –is only one side of the plan. The other is further digitalisation of sales and services channels and of network functions (software-defined networking and virtualisation). 

In other words, more software-defined job losses through automation. 

Think outsourcing and offshoring is bad for customer service … and local jobs? Try Andy’s vision of the future. 

“The bottom line is we want [customers] to be in a world where they don't have to call the call centre in the first place," Andy Penn says. "Either there is no issue in the first place or they can solve the issue themselves ... it is coming a lot quicker than people think.”

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