Telstra eyes growth opportunities in resources sector

Launches mining services businesses

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Telstra has launched a new business focussed on offering services to the mining sector.

The formation of Telstra Mining Services comes as the telco moves to acquire the network design and consulting services business of CBO Telecommunications.

The CBO acquisition to set to be completed before the end of the month, with Telstra saying it will take advantage of the company’s expertise in Wi-Fi and mesh networks and the “design, build and maintenance of enterprise grade networks used in mine sites.”

In addition to CBO’s existing relationships with companies in the mining sector, Telstra said it offered technical capabilities that would complement the telco's private LTE and public LTE (LANES) businesses.

The telco also announced the appointment of two specialists whose work will focus on the mining sector.

Telstra Mining Services will be led by former head of technology and innovation at AngloAmerican Platinum, Jeannette McGill.

Eric Nettleton will be part of Telstra’s Global Products and Solutions group with a focus on mining technology. Nettleton previously led work on automation technology R&D at Rio Tinto.

“The decline in global commodity prices is largely driving a downturn in the resources sector and, as a consequence, sharpening the industry’s focus on reducing costs and maximising production,” David Keenan, head of Telstra Global Industries, said in a statement.

“This downturn has created a once in a lifetime shift, where miners are looking to technology innovation to help them future proof their operations. Telstra Mining Services will be focused on helping our mining customers drive better business outcomes by significantly improving in-shift staff and asset productivity.

“Telstra Mining Services will deliver the technology solutions that makes this possible, such as high bandwidth networks, mobility solutions and software capabilities, through our own developments, strategic partnerships and in bespoke collaboration with customers.”

At a briefing earlier this year on the company’s results for the six months ending 31 December, CEO Andrew Penn said that in addition to investing its core business, Telstra was continuing “to pursue new growth opportunities in areas that leverage our core strengths” as part of the vision to be a “world class technology company”.

He gave the examples of the creation of a raft of new Telstra businesses: Telstra Media, Telstra Health, Telstra Software and Telstra Ventures.

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