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Optus celebrates 20 years of Yes

Optus celebrates 20 years of ‘Yes’

Optus today celebrates its 20th birthday and the beginning of competition in the Australian telecommunications market.

Optus began commercial operations on 31 January 1992 having been awarded Australia’s first competitive carrier licence on 19 November 1991. From the early days Optus’ primary purpose was to provide customers with choice, better value and improved customer service, a focus which remains true to this day.

From its humble beginnings in 1992, Optus has grown to become a company which today supports more than nine million mobile services, one million fixed and broadband customers and thousands of Australian businesses.

Vicki Brady, Divisional Managing Director, said, “The name Optus was derived from the phrase “opt for us” demonstrating that customers now had a choice in telecommunications for the first time in Australia’s history.

“Over the last two decades Optus has not faltered in its commitment to providing customers with reasons to opt for us – by delivering better value, more choice and improved customer service with competitive and innovative products and services.”

While Optus began operations in January, it would be 15 June 1992 before it would begin selling services. On the same date Optus opened its first store on the corner of Pitt Street and Spring Street in Sydney’s central business district. The cheapest mobile phone on sale was a Motorola handset, which retailed for approximately $750, had a $65 connection fee and a monthly ‘line rental’ fee of around $30 per month.

“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,” Ms Brady said.

“The features of mobiles have improved dramatically too. 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 and 2008 before smartphones really took off in Australia with the arrival of the iPhone.”

In the early days Optus’ primary business was in the long distance fixed telephone market. Customers who wished to make a call from their home phone had to dial “1” to use the Optus network.

“In the early 1990s, fixed lines were used primarily to make and receive calls. Today they provide broadband and pay T V, as well as a host of other services. With the arrival of the National Broadband Network broadband applications are only set to increase with health, education and entertainment among the many areas to benefit,” Ms Brady said.

Optus has long been synonymous with the word “yes”, an association which began in April 1992 when it ran a teaser advertising campaign to launch the brand using the words “Hello”, “It’s for you” and “Yes”. The word “Yes” resonated so well with Optus customers that it is now a cornerstone of 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,” Ms Brady concluded.

Media contact:

Liz Greene

Optus Corporate Affairs

(02) 8082 7850