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Switkowski: transforming Telstra into a high-tech telco
01 June 1999
Telstra, Australia's incumbent telco, has a significant broadband footprint, satellite capacity, two wireless networks and the largest ISP and cable TV company in the country. The company is now focusing on data/Internet and E-commerce growth opportunities. Telstra's new CEO Ziggy Switkowski talks to Mark Holmes about the operator's high-tech, high-growth strategy.
In February 1999 Ziggy Switkowski was appointed the new CEO of
Telstra, the incumbent operator in Australia, which is still
majority state-owned. His appointment came as surprise to many, as
Patric Russel, a telecoms equity analyst at Merrill Lynch,
explains: "Well it was a bit of a surprise when Ziggy Switkowski
was appointed CEO, because it took so long. Then they ended up with
an internal candidate. He came from their major competitor, so he
understands the landscape in Australia."
Russel believes that Telstra is one of the most forward-thinking
incumbent telcos around: "The company is richly endowed with
assets. It has a lot of technological flexibility with two wireless
networks, GSM and AMPS, migrating to CDMA. It has a relatively
large modern copper network. It has the capacity to migrate to DSL.
It has got a very large broadband footprint. It has got fibre-optic
rings in the cities. It has got satellite capacity. It...
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