Telstra pumps $3 billion into network overhaul

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Telstra pumps $3 billion into network overhaul

Telstra will pump another $3 billion into its network over the next three years following a swathe of highly publicised outages this year.

The company said the investment program would rollout progressively over the next three years, while chief executive Andrew Penn hinted at some of where the improvements would go.

In the short term, Telstra will focus on smaller projects to "remove customer pain points" and in the long term look to digitise and simplify large parts of its business. Smaller programs include improving digital sales and service channels for customers.

“Our customers and our networks are our biggest assets. We must invest to set new standards and deliver excellent experiences for our customers,” said Penn.

"We need to retire old technology and systems that slow down and complicate how customers are served."

Telstra will retire its legacy systems in favour of "architectural advances" such as virtualisation and increased automation across network domains. It previously announced it would be the first telco in Australia to trial a 5G system using Ericsson's radio test bed.

It will also invest in its fixed network services to reflect the increase in data consumption over the past five years for home and business users.

The telco was hit with five major outages from February to June, knocking out mobile and broadband services for millions of customers. Penn allocated $250 million in June to fix the network, just days before Telstra's fixed line services went down, causing major disruptions for companies like Jetstar, ME Bank and Monash University.

Despite the issues, Telstra won over another 560,000 domestic retail mobile customers to reach 17.2 million services, and 235,000 retail fixed-line customers, reaching 3.4 million.

The $3 billion investment was announced during Telstra's 2016 financial year results presentation this morning. The company reported a 36 increase in net profit to reach $5.8 billion, which was propped up by the $1.8 billion sale of its stake in Chinese car website Autohome.

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