With Australians embracing a new wave of internet-enabled devices in the home, Telstra has launched a program that brings together the development and marketing of its home devices, content and home broadband services and helps households become a connected home.
Over time, the move will see Telstra make its home media content available on more screens in the home; increase in-home customer care; unify its home product marketing under a single connected home banner; invest in fixed network capacity to support increased in-home connectivity; and, trial emerging services including home monitoring and cloud-hosted gaming.
Telstra Innovation Product & Marketing Group Managing Director, Kate McKenzie, said the next decade would see an explosion in connected household devices and Telstra’s focus on connected home solutions would help customers access the information and entertainment they want across different screens and devices.
“Around Australia connected homes are already taking shape with more families than ever welcoming movies on demand and IPTV on T-Box into their lounge rooms and accessing the internet through games consoles and on Wi-Fi enabled tablets and laptops.
“Telstra is preparing for the next phase in connected home development where in the coming years we plan to help households connect an even broader range of appliances with one another and the internet to deliver new content and information experiences. It’s a world where customers will be able to make high-definition video calls from their TV; where content follows people around the home and can be displayed on their preferred screen; and where home appliances like air conditioners and lights can be monitored and controlled from a smartphone screen,” Ms McKenzie said.
To bring the connected home to life Telstra is investing in:
- In-home support – To help customers manage the growing complexity of setting up a connected home Telstra is more than doubling its specialist Telstra Plus-trained workforce. Telstra Plus technicians can set up home networks with devices such as T-Box, printers and game consoles as well as provide computer support and resolve common software and hardware issues. Later this year Telstra will also launch a new software toolkit with easy-to-use tools and performance checks to help BigPond customers quickly identify and fix common home networking issues.
- Integrated content – This year Telstra will expand its popular BigPond Movies service so that titles can be streamed on mobile tablets in the home. Later this year Telstra will introduce ABC’s iView catch up TV service to complement existing content like AFL Live and FOXTEL on T-Box.
- New home services – Telstra has commenced trialling emerging home services including cloud gaming on big screen TVs via T-Box and home monitoring that allows customers to access live video feeds of their home remotely from Telstra smartphones and tablets.
- Fixed broadband network upgrades – As fast, reliable internet forms the platform for the connected home, Telstra recently completed upgrades to its HFC cable network introducing maximum download speeds of up to 100Mbps into the home to share across multiple users* and is currently bringing ADSL2+ technology to 2000 new street cabinets by integrating technology called ‘top hats’.
- A state-of-the-art lab in Melbourne for home network testing – To ensure new home products and networking solutions are tested in real-world conditions and work seamlessly together, Telstra has built the Home Integration Lab – a test space with bedrooms, kitchen, study and a home theatre.
- Marketing and sales – To introduce Australians to the concept of the connected home. Telstra is running a major advertising campaign spanning TV, experiential, retail and digital which also draws attention to Telstra’s unmatched range of connected home products, services and support. After decades of selling standalone products, Telstra is retraining staff so they can explain how products work together to deliver connected home experiences like media sharing and video on demand.
Ms McKenzie said Telstra’s new T-Bundles™ would form the foundation for Telstra’s connected home services.
“Last month we launched our new T-Bundles with larger data allowances and included voice calls on many plans and these form the foundation for building a connected home experience with Telstra. Customers can extend their experience by adding a T-Box or a T-Hub and soon they will be able to bundle in a range of additional connected home services.” Ms McKenzie said.
To find out more about building a connected home with Telstra, customers can head to Telstra.com/connectedhome.
* BigPond Ultimate Cable can provide download speeds of up to a maximum of 100Mbps into the home for sharing across multiple users in a household. These speeds are so fast, they exceed the capabilities of many content servers and individual PCs. Average speeds will be lower and actual speeds a single user will get will vary due to a number of factors including customer hardware, equipment and software, server limitations, type of content being accessed and the number of users online. Devices connected by Wi-Fi may experience slower speeds than those connected by ethernet cable.