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Telstra: will it make a play for the NBN?

Telstra has announced a major corporate restructuring that would see its business divided into three entities covering mobile towers, other fixed assets, and a services unit which would own Telstra’s retail mobile business, including the back-end technology and spectrum.

The proposed legal structure within the Telstra Group, expected to be completed by December 2021, would be:

  • InfraCo Fixed, which would own and operate Telstra’s passive or physical infrastructure assets: the ducts, fibre, data centres, subsea cables and exchanges that underpin Telstra’s fixed telecommunications network.

  • InfraCo Towers, which would own and operate Telstra’s passive or physical mobile tower assets, which Telstra will look to monetise over time given the strong demand and compelling valuations for this type of high-quality infrastructure.

  • ServeCo, which would continue to focus on creating innovative products and services, supporting customers and delivering the best possible customer experience. ServeCo would own the active parts of the network, including the radio access network and spectrum assets to ensure Telstra continues to maintain its industry-leading mobile coverage and network superiority

Telstra chief executive Andrew Penn said the changes would provide the company with more options, both in terms of potentially making a play for the NBN or selling off its infrastructure assets at an attractive price.

Investors were pleased with the announcement. Telstra shares closed 3% higher at $3.08, compared to a fall of 0.5% for the broader market. The company’s stock is down 13% for the year.

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