Telstra waits for 3G's 'right time'

Telstra has recommitted itself to a 3G network, but is unwilling to be the first one past the post.

Speaking on Wednesday at the 19th annual Atug (Australian Telecommunications User Group) Conference 2002 in Sydney, David Thodey, group managing director for Telstra Mobile, said the telco "would build the network when we see the need arise".

"We are not going to invest [in 3G] before the time is ready. We will continue to invest in GSM and CDMA".

Thodey said Telstra has been actively conducting trials of 3G technology over its CDMA network for the past five months and has been achieving data rates of 100KBPS, with peak throughputs of more than 140KBPS.

"We could roll out [the 3G network] on the CDMA network over a couple of months if we wanted to."

But Thodey said the success of the network will rely on what applications are available, something he said the telco was focusing on.

Telstra also announced its results for the half year ended December 312001of a net profit of $2 billion, which matched market forecasts.

Telstra chief executive officer Ziggy Switkowski said at the briefing that the telco sees "the outlook is brightening a little bit" for the telecommunications industry in the period ahead.

He said, however, industry growth -- presently around 3 per cent -- should back up as the 2002 calendar year progresses, but that largely depends upon restoration of pricing stability and IT investment spending by corporate Australia.

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