Major players in the Australian telecommunications arena, including Telstra, Optus, Foxtel, and Aussie Broadband, have sent ripples through the market by announcing price hikes on their lower-speed National Broadband Network (NBN) plans. These increases have garnered both support and criticism, sparking a national conversation about the future of broadband in Australia. The need for a telco pricing development plan is higher than it has ever been.


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The pros of this move, such as the potential for maintaining stable and affordable internet access, stand in stark contrast to the immediate cons that manifest in consumers’ wallets. The challenge is to strike a balance between addressing the growing demand for data and ensuring that basic broadband services remain accessible to all, regardless of financial constraints. As we navigate through these changes, the question that looms large is, are consumers getting a fair deal?


In this article, we’ll examine the recent NBN price hikes and their impact on consumers and telco pricing. First, we’ll dive into the specifics of these increases. Then, we’ll discuss the best course of action for telcos, focusing on transparent communication, innovative pricing, and adaptive organisational functions. We argue that balancing the demand for data with affordable internet access is crucial for the long-term sustainability of broadband services in Australia.


At Taylor Wells, we believe that a balanced, value-based, and customer-centric approach is essential for the success of telco pricing strategies. By the end, you will know the strategic decisions that telcos must make for sustainable and inclusive broadband in Australia.



National Broadband Network Agreement And Telco Pricing Increase Rollout


The NBN price hikes have generated both approval and disapproval, initiating a nationwide discussion regarding the future of broadband in Australia.


Foxtel has taken the lead in this move, opting for a significant $10 monthly increase, closely followed by Aussie Broadband with a $6 monthly raise. These changes impact their 12mb, 25mb, and 50mb plans. Meanwhile, Telstra and Optus are not far behind, hiking prices by $5 for their basic plans. The immediate impact on consumers’ wallets is evident, leading to a polarised debate on whether these changes are a necessary adjustment or an unfair burden on the end-users.


The crux of the matter lies in the newly introduced pricing agreement from the National Broadband Network (NBN), where a reduction in wholesale prices for most plans is accompanied by the retention of a charge called the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) for speed tiers of 50mb/s and below.


NBN argues that these changes are essential to accommodate the exponentially growing demand for data, ensuring that the wholesale and retail prices of broadband services remain reasonable in the long term. They emphasise that their wholesale prices have not increased in real terms over the past decade.



Overview of the NBN Pricing Agreement and the CVC Charge


To comprehend the dynamics at play, it’s crucial to delve into the intricacies of the NBN pricing agreement. The reduction in wholesale prices is a nod to the evolving landscape of broadband services. NBN aims to stay ahead of the curve, adapting to the surging demand for data without compromising the affordability of internet services.


However, the retention of the Connectivity Virtual Circuit (CVC) charge for speed tiers of 50mb/s and below adds a layer of complexity to the equation. This charge, set to gradually decrease annually, will be completely removed by July 2026. While this move aligns with the long-term vision of fostering affordable internet access, the immediate consequences are felt by consumers grappling with increased monthly bills.


Discussion On Telco Pricing Strategies To Optimise National Broadband Internet Prices In 2023 


On the positive side, these price hikes promise to maintain stable and affordable internet access, a crucial aspect in the face of rising data demands. NBN’s argument that their wholesale prices have remained stable in real terms over the past decade adds weight to the notion that these changes are a strategic step to future-proof broadband services in Australia. However, the cons are glaring, with the immediate impact on consumers’ wallets making it challenging for some to afford these essential services.


As we navigate through this transitional phase, it’s essential to keep an eye on the evolving landscape of broadband services in Australia. A historical perspective on NBN pricing trends allows us to contextualise the current changes and anticipate further adjustments leading to the complete removal of the CVC charge by July 2026.


telco pricing


Pricing Strategies for Transparent Communication with Consumers


With the spotlight on these changes, transparent communication becomes paramount for telco companies. Clear, concise explanations of the alterations and their purpose can mitigate confusion and foster a sense of understanding among consumers. It’s not merely about justifying the price hikes but rather educating the user base on the intricacies of the NBN pricing agreement and how it aligns with the broader objective of ensuring the sustainability of internet services.


Moreover, providing options for consumers facing financial constraints is not just a compassionate approach but also a strategic one. Telco companies can explore tailored packages, discounts, or temporary relief measures to ease the immediate burden on those affected by the price hikes. This not only addresses the ethical dimension but also helps in retaining customer loyalty in the long run.


Pricing Strategies for Telco Companies


Balancing the need for revenue with consumer affordability is undoubtedly a tightrope walk for telco companies. While the current price hikes are a response to the new NBN pricing agreement, it’s imperative for these companies to strategise their pricing models for the future. Exploring alternative revenue streams without burdening basic plans is one avenue worth exploring.


For instance, premium services, add-ons, or bundles that cater to specific consumer needs could be introduced. This not only diversifies revenue sources but also provides consumers with choices, allowing them to customise their plans according to their preferences and budget constraints.



Organisational Functions and Operations For Telco Pricing Development


Adapting internal processes to align with the new pricing agreement is not just about complying with regulations but also about optimising efficiency. Telco companies must streamline their operations to ensure that the impact of these changes is minimal on both their internal workflows and, more importantly, on the end users.


Innovating customer support is another crucial aspect. Anticipating and addressing consumer concerns effectively will be key in this period of transition. This might involve investing in AI-driven customer support systems, providing detailed FAQs, and creating dedicated helplines to guide consumers through the changes. The goal is to not just weather the storm but to emerge stronger with a more resilient and responsive customer support infrastructure.



Implications Of Telco Pricing Development Amid The Internet Price Increase In 2023


Telco companies require an efficient pricing team to navigate the dynamic market landscape. A skilled team ensures timely adaptation to pricing changes, fostering competitiveness. Efficient pricing teams conduct thorough market analyses, swiftly responding to emerging trends and competitor moves.


This agility is crucial for seizing opportunities and mitigating risks. Collaborative communication within the team ensures alignment with strategic objectives and enhances responsiveness to market demands. In an era where pricing dynamics can reshape markets swiftly, a proficient pricing team serves as the linchpin for sustained competitiveness.


Our findings show that with the right set-up and pricing team in place, incremental earnings gains can begin to occur in less than 12 weeks. After 6 months, the team can capture at least 1.0-3.25% more margin using better price management processes. After 9-12 months, businesses often generate between 7-11% additional margin each year as they identify more complex and previously unrealised opportunities, efficiencies, and risks.


Embedding commercial pricing capability across telco organisations is imperative for strategic resilience.


It allows seamless integration of pricing strategies with broader business objectives, promoting a holistic approach. This alignment ensures that pricing decisions resonate with organisational goals, optimising revenue streams.


Moreover, a pervasive commercial pricing capability encourages cross-functional collaboration, breaking silos and fostering a shared understanding of market dynamics. This organisational cohesion, combined with pricing acumen, positions telco companies to proactively navigate market shifts, enhance customer value, and sustain profitability in an ever-evolving business landscape.


Our findings show that when a business builds and embeds commercial capability across the business; bolstering its internal pricing skills and capabilities to build a sustainable pricing system, it can generate at least 3-10% additional margin each year while protecting hard-earned revenue and volume. This is at least a 30-60% profit improvement straight to the bottom line.


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Bottom Line


The recent price hikes by telco companies and national broadband network providers mark a pivotal moment in the trajectory of broadband services in Australia. While the immediate impacts are causing ripples of discontent among consumers, the long-term vision of ensuring sustainable, affordable internet access cannot be overlooked. Telco companies find themselves at a crossroads, juggling the need for revenue with the imperative of consumer satisfaction.


As we navigate the waves of change, transparency, and adaptability emerge as the guiding stars for both telco companies and consumers alike. Clear communication, innovative pricing strategies, and streamlined operations will be the pillars upon which the future of broadband in Australia is built. It’s not just about weathering the storm; it’s about steering the ship toward a future where connectivity is not just a service but a fundamental right, accessible to all. The choices made today will determine the seas we sail in tomorrow.


For a comprehensive view of integrating a high-performing capability team in your company, Download a complimentary whitepaper on A Capability Framework for Pricing Teams.


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