Telstra’s mobile business was responsible for nearly half the telecommunications provider’s $604 million revenue increase in the first half of fiscal 2014.
The business segment recorded $294m in revenue for the six-month period, growing 6.4 per cent. Earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) margin increased by two percentage points to 39 per cent, with SIO jumping by 1.4m.
Telstra pins spectrum as key to its strategy, with particular emphasis on the use of low frequency spectrum. Having spent $1.302bn on 40MHz of the APT700MHz allocation (and 80MHz of the 2500MHz band) at last year’s Digital Dividend auction, the telco expects the spectrum to have the same impact on 4G as 850MHz had on 3G.
According to a statement, Telstra will have handsets available at launch, with dongles in the pipeline.
The telco said it is also preparing Cat 6 and Cat 9 devices with aggregated spectrum. In February, it partnered with Huawei to launch the world’s first Cat 6-compatible LTE mobile broadband device in Australia; the 4G Advanced Pro X is a battery-powered mobile hotspot which promises to last for up to ten hours.
Earlier this month Telstra announced a partnership with Fon to build a nationwide Wi-Fi network which will result in two million hotpots across Australia within five years, 8000 of which will be Telstra-managed and located in busy social precincts. The $100m investment will be delivered in unison with councils, enterprises and government.
Scheduled to launch early 2015, the network will also extend overseas to allow people to connect at more than 12m international hotspots.
Telstra’s existing mobile network currently covers 2.3m square kilometres, accounting for 99.3 per cent of the population.