Telstra readies CDMA 1X, shuffles management deck

Dec 2, 2002 12:00 AM
Telstra is to start rolling out its 2.5G mobile business services across Australia following a successful trial of its CDMA 1X technology.

The company's mobile group managing director David Thodey said the CDMA 1X services had been tested through a trial with 29 businesses in Mebourne and regional Victoria in the past several months.

The CDMA (Code Division Multiple Access) 1X system lets customers use their mobile telephones to access data, allowing them to check e-mail or browse the internet or corporate intranets.

Following the successful trial, Thodey said the service would be made available to a wider audience of business customers, starting with a network roll out in Canberra, Brisbane and the Gold Coast, as well as the greater Sydney area.

Meanwhile, Telstra chief executive Ziggy Switkowski has unveiled organisational changes that will make it easier for the company to offer a broader range of product bundles.

The company has created a new unit called Telstra Customer and Marketing which is to be headed by the current Telstra Retail chief Ted Pretty. The unit will be responsible for serving all Telstra consumer customers with the full product suite of fixed and mobile data and voice services, as well as all Telstra brands, advertising and sponsorships.

The Telstra Customer and Marketing unit will also be responsible for the company's bundling strategies. Switkowski said the current Telstra Mobile Group – excluding its corporate sales component – would form the core of the new unit, which will also include Customer Care and Telstra's product management groups.

Switkowski also announced the creation of a new Telstra Enterprises unit, of which current Telstra Mobile chief David Thodey has been appointed group managing director.

Telstra Enterprises has been created out of the former Telstra Retail Group and is responsible for serving corporate, small business and government customers with the full range of company products.

Telstra also announced that it had extended the sales and service geography of its Telstra Country Wide unit had been extended to cover additional fringe areas in Queenland, NSW and Victoria. The new areas include the Gold Coast, Sunshine Coast in Queensland, the Central Coast and Newcastle in NSW and Werribee and Geelong in Victoria.

The Networks and Technology Group has changed its name to Telstra Technology and would give increased priority to innovation and new product commercialisation.

Doug Campbell remains as group managing director, of Telstra Country Wide as well as group managing director of Telstra Technology.

Switkowski said Telstra would also bring together its broadband, online and media businesses in a new unit called Telstra Broadband, On-line and Media Services. The units comprising Telstra's broadband and online services business, its directories and advertising business Sensis, and Telstra Media – which includes Telstra's Foxtel investment.

The new group will be headed by Bruce Akhurst, who will retain his current roles as group managing director of Telstra Wholesale, as well as general counsel. Akhurst relinquishes Regulatory from his portfolio, which will be taken on by Bill Scales.

Scales adds responsibilities for Telstra's regulatory affairs in his new role as group managing director for Regulatory, Corporate and Human Relations.

The changes take place from January 1 next year.