“We Do Not Believe That Teleco Copper to Google, Have Many Business Networks”. Interview to Johan Andsjö, CEO of Telstra

Today we bring you the first part of a interview that we conducted to Johan Andsjö, CEO of Telstra, We believe especially interesting by the posture that reflects Johan in a clear way on some of the issues both the current status of the operators in the Spanish market more hot sector. I leave you with his words, 

Engadget Mobile. Johan, first of all, tell us what is the current status of Yoigo in the sector

Johan Andsjö. Right now we are very happy, in a good way. In the first quarter of this year, we have captured 47 percent of the new high. In a sense the crisis is helping us, people want to save money, they want more simplicity and fewer surprises on the Bill and what we see is a high-growth recommendations of customers in 2009 and 2010. Own tents people tells us, customers are recognizing that they have saved and bringing friends and family to hire Yoigo.

With the atmosphere of crisis people has changed their priorities, not look at both phones of “0 euros” as the tariff. That’s where Telstra has a good position as a price leader.

Engadget Mobile. However, the positioning of Telstra was simple fare and price low, is being colonized with the arrival of the MVNO

Johan Andsjö. We have always taken into account. Just be “ low cost ” it is very easy to copy, so pretty good portion of simplicity, transparency and a customer care are values that we also want to bring customers to differentiate us from other competitors. There I think we have been quite successful, last year we had a 30% better than the competition customer satisfaction.

We take more than 85% of calls with less than 15 seconds of waiting, a call takes an average of four minutes 42 seconds compared to 15 or 20 minutes of competition. There it helps us simplicity, there is so many things to explain: the percentage of calls about bills is less than 0.5% in Telstra. I see the MVNOs as an aid to educate the customer that we must look at the total cost, not just the cost of the terminal.

We will not enter the war by the “ super phones ”, people come to Telstra for the fee, not by the terminal.

Engadget Mobile. You said that people tend to look less at the terminal and more rate. In Yoigo see growth in Spain on the free terminal purchase?

Johan Andsjö. In postpaid very little, on prepaid if we see that customers sometimes buy a pack and do not use the phone. We do not subsidize almost nothing in prepaid to avoid these problems and Yes subsidize more in postpaid customers with a profile of Bill higher, but never as much as the competition. Our weapon of sale is the rate, not the phone.

Engadget Mobile. Are you not going to enter the war by offering the “super phones”?

Johan Andsjö. Do not, at the very high level we won’t enter. People don’t come to Yoigo by phone, comes by the rate and we want to continue.

Engadget Mobile These years are also seeing a change in the sources of income of operators, more data and less voice / SMS… Telstra has been involved in a legal dispute over the new frequencies, with the open stage of if have them in 2011 or 2015 how is this situation?

Johan Andsjö. We have not seen a drop in the number of SMS because of social networks. What is truth is the use of data and revenue growth. Data on customers with portable traffic has doubled in a year and we think that it will continue doubling each year. We will also see the part of webtv, which is the fastest growing. Six months ago, the volume of data for web browsing was double that of streaming videos; last month, the webtv has spent in data navigation.

There isn’t much impact in the SMS as people think. In phones, we will see a big difference between smartphones and normal phones, that is the great differentiator in data consumption. IPhone and Android users consume more data than those with Symbian.

In the part of the refarming, it is very important that as operator we can provide better data coverage in urban areas, within the houses and also better speed in rural areas. There we advocate a scenario of competitive equilibrium, each has 15 Mhz UMTS 2.1 and, of course, if we are going to a UMTS 900 we are with the European Union that has to be a competitive balance. To see if we can equal sharing for all.

If then we are able to provide services demanded by customers, as well. But forcing the ‘Google’ business models where they are not comfortable is a bad idea, because they will reduce the size of the market and the value for the end user.

Engadget Mobile That balance would include that Vodafone and Movistar could not qualify for the new frequencies until 2015?

Johan Andsjö. For example, things as well. If any operator stays out financial compensation would have more guarantee national roaming. Our national roaming agreement includes UMTS 900 by what the final customer of Telstra will never suffer due to the distribution of licenses, is more a matter of cost of production than what we can offer to customers.

All operators can comply with the traffic we have now and the next two years with UMTS 2.1. Spain has two million people connected with “spikes USB”, in other countries such as Sweden and Austria are above the 20% penetration, per 4% our. It is reasonable to think that by 2015 we will be 20% penetration. We’re talking about eight million new users of mobile broadband customers, it’s a very interesting business. Normal is that there is a war for position in this business, if improving the crisis situation we will all grow much starting in 2011 and 2015.

Engadget Mobile. Interesting, because there is debate about the stack of value in telecommunications. Operators who want to assert their strength with Commission services (Movistar, Vodafone Vs Google) companies

Johan Andsjö. We do not think so. We see that our part of the job is to facilitate new applications, either Google or any other. The issue of network neutrality comes from a debate in America with two types of company, the ‘Google’ who want to net neutrality 100%, then it is the people in Hollywood who have rights and are forced to cut p2p, to give customer data… is the “anti net neutrality”, holding back all this development. There I think that as the operator our first job is to facilitate things for end-customers.

If then we are able to provide services demanded by customers, as well. But forcing the ‘Google’ business models where they are not comfortable is a bad idea, because they will reduce the size of the market and the value for the end user.

There is no ambition clear in the sector ICT’s role will have Europe in the world. The attacks on Google come over this situation. Telecommunications have been leaders in the deployment of technologies such as GSM, 3G… and that has been a pillar in the development of Europe. But it is used and the Chinese have come, what’s left for us? This debate is political rather than something real.

Engadget Mobile. In fact, if we do numbers, what could make a commitment to Google in Spain for large operators is very little meaningful

Johan Andsjö. For me it is a sterile polemic, it does not fit anything. This comes from one more substantive problem, in Europe lack ambition, innovation on the Internet is in the United States, production and innovation in phones is in Asia… What’s left for Europe? do consume? There is no ambition clear in the sector ICT’s role will have Europe in the world. The attacks on Google come over this situation. Telecommunications have been leaders in the deployment of technologies such as GSM, 3G… and that has been a pillar in the development of Europe. But it is used and the Chinese have come, what’s left for us? This debate is political rather than something real.

Engadget Mobile One of the threats that put the telcos on the table is to stop investing in network because it would not be profitable

Johan Andsjö. It is more argumentative than real. Our customers are customers who pay the Bill and it will always be so, there will be investment in network because the demand for broadband will continue to grow. Of course, that it is a problem for companies that rely on others to make the entire investment, but I still think that a revenue sharing model is a bad way to solve it.

The only thing I have opposite the net neutrality are things like blocking images of sexual abuse, that isn’t net neutrality to me, you have to be responsible with these issues also.

Antonio Ortiz is co-founder of WeblogsSL, the company that makes Engadget Mobile and that is director of Estrategia Online. He regularly writes on his blog Error500 on internet and technology.