TLS - Telstra
Telstra Corporation Limited (ASX: TLS) is Australia’s largest telecommunications company. It was first listed on the Australian Stock Exchange in 1998.
Telstra began life as Australia’s sole and government-owned domestic telecommunications commission. It traded as Telecom Australia until 1995, when the entire organization was rebranded as Telstra. Between 1997 and 2006 Telstra was progressively privatized and today is wholly a private sector corporation.
Telstra’s products are: fixed-line home and business telephony; mobile services; internet access, and cable television.
In addition to Australia, Telstra also has operations and businesses in Europe, New Zealand, China and Hong Kong. It also wholly owns an undersea communications cable linking Hawaii and Sydney.
Telstra occupies a dominant position in the Australian telecommunications sector. One major reason for this is that it owns the majority of the copper wire network in Australia. It wholesales ADSL internet access on this network to other Australian telecommunications company, such as Optus. Another reason is that Telstra has retained many profitable customers from the time when it was the sole telecommunications provider in Australia.
In 2008 Telstra submitted a tender to build a national fibre-to-the-home network, a project known as the National Broadband Network. Their tender was rejected by the government for non-compliance with the tender guidelines. This caused the largest one-day share price fall in Telstra’s history. The government has now decided that it will carry out the project, as none of the private proposals represented value for money.
In 2009 the Australian Government announced that Telstra would be forcibly split into separate retail and wholesale arms. The consequences of this for Telstra’s fortunes in the future are unclear.
Profits for 2009 were AUD$4.073 billion.
Telstra is headquartered in Melbourne, Australia.
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