CANBERRA (Dow Jones)--Outgoing Telstra Corp. (TLS.AU) Chief Executive Sol
Trujillo said Tuesday that analysts have overplayed the likely earnings
impact on Telstra of being excluded from a federal government tender to
build a national high-speed Internet network.
"If any impact occurs, it will probably be in the A$1 billion to A$2 billion
range, but it is out five to 10 years. So that's a long way away, there's a
lot of services that we're going to be delivering that will be bigger,
better, faster" than anything the planned national broadband network, or
NBN, will offer, Trujillo told CNBC business television.
He noted that Telstra is already planning to roll out services in Melbourne
that offer speeds of up to 100 megabits per second, compared with the 12
Mbps service the government has proposed.
"Customers will have choices. We welcome some competition - it's really
important. If somebody wants to deliver a 12 Mbps service, while we're
delivering a 100 Mbps, we'll trust the customers to make the right choices,"
Shares in Telstra brushed an all-time low of A$2.93 March 19 as a decision
approaches on who will build the broadband network. That prompted Telstra
Chief Financial Officer John Stanhope to last week urge investors to ignore
"analyst and media scaremongering" over the likely impact of the decision.
"Our share price has had a drop that's been associated with what most
analysts would call a market overhang. It's about an NBN decision where
people assume that we're going to lose a lot of revenues and lose market
share and all that, and the answer is: Not true," Trujillo said Tuesday.
The shares were trading up 1.2% at A$3.27 at 2334 GMT.