Commercial 5G at Telstra

Telstra’s 5G commercial approach involves propositions in each of the highlighted categories below:

Telstra commercial 5G

Given that four of the top five key purchase criteria across all Australian telco customer segments are network-related (i.e., coverage, speed, reliability and security), Telstra strives to be the market’s network leader. It views its early and continuing investment in 5G as enabling it to stay ahead of customer expectations as they evolve.

Network leadership has been the foundation of its commercial approach to 5G for customers to date. Due to the lack of early and obvious 5G use cases and less than ubiquitous coverage, Telstra has refrained from singling out 5G-specific propositions, emphasizing its network superiority as a whole.

From a consumer perspective, Telstra monetises 5G by promoting 5G-ready mobile and data plans to more premium customers (5G is not available on prepay or sub-brands). It also offers fixed wireless access services to a targeted customer set. Additionally, Telstra does not subsidise 5G devices and receives a nominal revenue contribution from device sales.

Its small business approach broadly reflects that of the consumer, however its enterprise portfolio demonstrates some differences. Telstra’s Adaptive Mobility solution, with mobile, data and enterprise wireless components, allows customers to select and change solution components and service tiers month to month. Tiers of services are defined by size of data allowance and speed caps (while 5G is not specifically called out, plans are marketed as “5G-compatible”).  Telstra has also introduced an Adaptive Mobility Accelerator add-on feature which boosts speed based on available networks (both 4G and 5G).

Telstra’s network-agnostic, flexible approach continues through to its network and technology solutions and managed services, i.e., the Telstra SD-WAN solution, cloud services (including edge computing) and private hybrid networking solutions (favouring consumption-based business models). Additionally, it leverages its technology services provider, Telstra Purple, to create bespoke over-the-top solutions (based on its adjacent expertise, e.g. AI, software development, cloud) that may/may not include 5G.

While Telstra does not currently offer bundled 5G-specific solutions, it is championing the concept of network-aware services facilitated by a modular, adaptable service infrastructure. This should stand it in good stead to develop and deliver new use cases (e.g. those leveraging network slicing) by combining network capabilities in different ways. 5G-specific solutions may be an aspiration going forward.

This July 2021 Report: Telstra’s journey in commercialising 5G examines the market factors that have enabled and constrained Telstra’s 5G commercial approach up to now and identifies lessons in the commercialisation of 5G for operators that are on their own 5G journey.

See our in-depth 5G research and our coverage of 5G monetisation so far: