Telstra today committed to invest up to an extra $3 billion over three years on a major wave of customer-focused investments in its networks of the future and digitization.
Telstra CEO Andrew Penn made the announcement as Telstra released its financial year 2016 results and confirmed a $1.5 billion buy-back program for shareholders. He said that Telstra’s capex to sales ratio in each of the next three financial years would increase to approximately 18 per cent, the highest since 2008-09 as Telstra was building up its 3G network.
Telstra has a history of making investments ahead of the curve to create differentiation, such as 2G, 3G, LTE and Telstra Air which all delivered benefits for customers. The opportunity is clear as average monthly data consumption on its networks increased seven-fold over the past five years, with mobile traffic growing almost nine-fold in the same period, said Telstra.
Telstra plans to retire legacy systems and invest in evolution of the network with a set of architectural advances such as virtualization and increased automation to build a dynamic and programmable next generation network around the virtualization of functions across network domains.
Telstra said it will also further boost capacity in key networks to cater for increasing demand for core services and undertake an ongoing evolution of 4G network capabilities as foundations were laid for the 5G network. Mobile focus areas would include areas of natural leadership including building on the success of the 4G network evolution and readiness for 5G, LTE-broadcast, voice over LTE and the Internet of Things.