Optus’ parent company Singtel has released its financial results for the last quarter, and for the most part it’s fairly stable for Optus.
Operating revenue is down 9%, which Optus blames on the ACCC reducing industry mobile termination rates. Underlying net profit is up 10% to $273 million.
In the same quarter, the telco signed up 16,000 new pre-paid mobile customers and 68,000 new postpaid mobile customers. However, the total postpaid mobile customer number is down 25,000 after wholesale deactivations.
But what’s most concerning for Optus, and for most carriers, is the average revenue per user in both mobile and fixed broadband.
The fixed-broadband ARPU was completely flat, although mobile is taking a big hit.
In the post-paid market, the ARPU was down 17% to $50 per customer. It was even worse for the prepaid side, with ARPU down 22% to $21 per customer.
Optus is hoping it can grow this all important number through its English Premier League offering, and it explains why it has made it only available to Optus customers.
Roy Morgan says that Australia has 1.7 million EPL viewers and that they’re all extremely loyal to the sport. For Optus, if a portion of these viewers change to the network they will be high value customers, as will existing customers who take up the EPL offering.
Optus is charging customers either $15 per month for access to the service or included free if your monthly plan is worth more than $85 a month.
For them, they want customers to take up a plan worth over $85 a month, because that likely means they’re singing up on a two year contract that’s worth $35 a month more than their average customer.
It’s a risky move, especially considering the amount of customers it will need to sign up just to make back what it has invested in the rights. But if it goes to plan, it could pay off hugely.