Singtel-owned Australian telco Optus will today celebrate its 20th birthday, after beginning local corporate operations on January 31, 1992.
The company – which has a history that can be traced back to a company known as AUSSAT prior to 1992 – today commands the number 2 telecommunication provider spot behind the dominating force Telstra – was granted a carrier license on the 19th November, 1991. The first retail service, however, wasn’t sold until the 15th June, 1992 when Optus’ first store opened in Sydney’s CBD.
Since then, Optus has now grown to support more than 9 million mobile services, 1 million fixed and broadband customers and many thousands of business customers.
“The Australian mobile market has grown dramatically over the last 20 years. While mobile phones were once a luxury item, today there are almost 25 million mobile handsets in operation, more than one for every Australian,” Vicki Brady, Divisional Managing Director for Optus said in a statement today, pointing out Optus’ first mobile offering – a Motorola handset that costs $750 and was available with a $65 connection fee and a ‘line rental’ price of approximately $30 per month - was a far cry from what’s on offer today.
“Many of us can remember the so-called bricks of the 1990s, whose primary function was to make calls. It would be the turn of millennium before text messaging between mobile carriers would be introduced (April 2000) and 2008 before smartphones really took off in Australia with the arrival of the iPhone,” Brady continued.
Other things that’ve changed since then include the roll-out of high speed wireless Internet, and more recently the National Broadband Network that promises to change the face of Internet access in Australia.
Optus highlighted the importance that it’s “Yes” marketing has had on its brand recognition – since starting the first advertising campaign to spruik the launch of the company in April 1992 where “Hello”, “It’s for you” and “Yes” were the keywords, “Yes” has become ingrained in the Optus brand.
“The word “yes” represents the “can do” attitude which embodies Optus people and our commitment to the customer. Our “yes” attitude is what makes us who we are today and will continue to define us in the future,” Brady said.