Thursday, 28 February 2019 05:11

Vodafone criticises Telstra call for lower NBN prices Featured

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Vodafone criticises Telstra call for lower NBN prices Pixabay

Vodafone Hutchison Australia chief executive Iñaki Berroeta has criticised Telstra for seeking a drop in NBN prices at a time when it is receiving $2.5 billion from NBN Co for use of its infrastructure and for customers who have been transferred over.

In response to a query during the announcement of VHA's results for 2018 on Wednesday, Berroeta said Telstra was complaining despite what he termed a disproportional sum being paid to the company by NBN Co even though it was smaller retail service providers that were being affected more by NBN Co's pricing.

“Ultimately the ones that have big market share grow their market share and the NBN for one reason or another has made the life of new entrants or smaller players quite complicated," he said.

There have been several  calls for a write-down of the NBN's value, including from Telstra's chief executive Andrew Penn.

But, as iTWire  reported, little consideration has been given to the fact that a major part of the network will need an upgrade to full-fibre after it is completed.

Berroeta said there was little margin in the NBN retail business but the company had started a division for this business last April because it believed this was a complementary product for customers.

His comments came after Vocus Group chief executive Kevin Russell said the group was no longer going to tussle for NBN business.

Vocus indicated that it would instead concentrate on wireless and mobile services based on 5G, through a deal with Optus.

Both Telstra and Optus said during recent results' announcements that their businesses had been affected by the NBN.

Penn said: "Telstra’s circumstances today are very different from what they were before the NBN. We are no longer the national wholesale provider. That part of our business – the revenue and value – is being transferred to the NBN and that is reflected in our income, profit, and dividends."

And Optus reported EBITDA of $664 million for the second quarter of 2019, a drop of 8.7% from the $727 million for the corresponding quarter a year ago. This was put down to lower payments from NBN Co for customers who migrated to the broadband network.

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Sam Varghese has been writing for iTWire since 2006, a year after the site came into existence. For nearly a decade thereafter, he wrote mostly about free and open source software, based on his own use of this genre of software. Since May 2016, he has been writing across many areas of technology. He has been a journalist for nearly 40 years in India (Indian Express and Deccan Herald), the UAE (Khaleej Times) and Australia (Daily Commercial News (now defunct) and The Age). His personal blog is titled Irregular Expression.

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