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The Results Are In: Optus Lands A Blow As Data Demands Grow

The Results Are In: Optus Lands A Blow As Data Demands GrowFollowing the entry of Netflix into the local market, along with local subscription video-on-demand services Stan and Presto TV, telcos have been staking out their territory, provoking the release of a wave of increasingly competitive data plans, from home broadband to mobile.

Amid the rollout of the NBN and 4G networks, the battle for consumer dollars has been intensifying, and Optus has been reaping the rewards, offering bonus six-month Netflix subscriptions with the purchase of selected home broadband, mobile phone and mobile broadband plans.

Netflix data on Optus’ home broadband is unmetered, and Netflix is integrated with Optus TV with the Fetch Generation 2 set-top box.

Meanwhile, Telstra has recently suffered a blow, with Netflix’s monthly ISP Speed Index, ranking which Australian ISPs provide the best prime-time Netflix streaming experience, placing Telstra at the bottom of the list with an average speed of 2.23 Mbps. Optus, by comparison, ranked second, with an average speed of 3.27 Mbps.

This has lead to questions as to why Telstra would rank so lowly in comparison to its competitors, with the telco in turn hitting back following release of the results.

It appears Optus has landed a significant early blow as data demands grow, and today’s results provide plenty of encouragement as it takes it up to Telstra going forward.

Optus posted operating revenue of $2.29 billion for the fourth quarter, up 10.6 per cent year-on-year, and net profit of $239 million, up 7.1 per cent year-on-year. EBITDA grew 10.1 per cent to $723 million, driven in part by strong mobile service revenue growth.

Meanwhile, over the course of the financial year Optus recorded more modest results, posting operating revenue of $8.79 billion, up 3.8 per cent year-on-year, and net profit of $841 million, up 0.7 per cent year-on-year.

During the quarter, Optus added 64,000 postpaid handset customers, bringing its total number of mobile subscribers to 9.43 million.

The telco noted demand for 4G services is strong, with 345,000 new subscribers added in the quarter. Optus’ 3.53 million 4G Plus customers account for 37 per cent of its total mobile customer base.

Optus stated a combined focus on the NBN and its Netflix subscription offer delivered broadband customer growth of 20,000 to 1.02 million customers.

“In spite of intense competition in the Australian market, Optus has delivered strong EBITDA and net profit growth this quarter,” Optus chief executive officer Allen Lew commented.

“This shows our strategy is working. We will continue to lead the market with innovative, value-driven offers, an expanding 4G network footprint and exceptional customer experience.”