I’m so old this isn’t me researching history, its me recounting history – but lets leave that aside and appreciate that in 30 years Optus has become something way more than most of us could ever have imagined back in 1992.
When you look at the advertising and marketing for Optus in the first 12-18 months, there were two clear messages. Dial 1, and “yes”.
Both were strategic and helped Australians understand for the very first time they had a choice. You see back then, Telecom was the phone company – simple.
But in 1992 when Optus launched, and began rolling out a Fibre network across the country and began connecting to local telephone exchanges, it became possible for many to dial 1 before any long distance (STD) phone number. Doing so would make the call happen on the Optus network, and could be cheaper if you believed the ads.
But that was just the start.
Some time later in 1993 a national ballot was held. No, nothing political, this was a ballot to choose your phone provider. This is where the “yes” comes from.
Large parts of the country had access to the Optus network, and the regulator at the time was sending a physical printed ballot out which allowed home owners to choose their long distance call carrier.
If you received the ballot, and chose to switch to Optus, they would become your default carrier.
If you sent it back unmarked, or didn’t respond – you’d stay with Telstra.
That’s why for a year they were all about “just say yes”.
They had to win Aussies over, they had to look big, they had to look local, they had a lot of work to do.
But that’s why it’s OPTUS “yes”.
Now, 30 years since the company started, they have had a dramatic impact on the Australian telecommunications market.
They’ve got 1 million subscribers just to their Optus Sport streaming service!
Optus Mobile covers 98.5% of the population, they’ve spent $43.7 Billion in Australia on infrastructure and support 11 million services daily.
It really is a remarkable story, in 30 years this little company has become the huge telecommunications giant we all know today, employing thousands of Aussies and pushing mobile innovation in our market.
Full credit to them – and to all who said “yes”