Telstra will today become only the second telco in Australia to offer 3G mobile services, but the low-key launch reflects the changed expectations since Hutchison Telecom made a glitzy debut in 2003. Telstra’s i-mode service – which has been available for six months on the GSM network – is already offering 211 sites, although not all of them will be available on the 3G service straight away. “The sheer variety and depth of services available gives Telstra a big head start from other operators that have a more limited scope of services,” said tech research firm Ovum.
“It will be largely about services, so we will not be blasting the technology at people, and in fact it will be difficult for people to distinguish 2G and 3G – it will be about what you experience as a customer,” said Mike Robey, who heads Telstra’s 3G marketing. And the key customer experience that Telstra is banking on to entice new users to its high-speed network is content. “The main difference between what we’re going to offer and what the other guys have got is content,” Mr Robey said.
Mr Robey said Telstra had learnt a lot from mobile operators overseas and their experiences with mobile content. “The key lesson is not to try and gouge people too much,” he said. “You’ve got to give people access to quite a lot of content and let them choose, because if you do the choosing for them you are playing god. And that’s just not going to fly.” Continue