Optus confirms Wireless Fusion dumped, Telstra attacks

OWF sales suspended, existing customers will continue to be supported.

Optus has confirmed that as of September 10 it had cut the sale of its Optus Wireless Fusion (OWF) product.

Optus launched OWF in August as a combined home phone and broadband service over its 3G network, touting it as an alternative for customers who could not access its Fusion product in areas previously dominated by Telstra.

An Optus spokesperson said the company made the decision to suspend sales of OWF to “ensure we deliver an optimum experience to our customers”, but the company has not publicly revealed why the product was pulled.

The spokesperson said existing OWF customers will “continue to be supported by Optus and experience no disruption to their service”. Optus Wireless Broadband and Optus Wireless Telephony products have not been affected.

Telstra wasted little time drumming up a public relations coup against Optus, saying its decision to suspend OWF is an “effective admission that it could not deliver what it promised customers across Australia”, tying the cancellation to the National Broadband Network debate.

Telstra’s director of policy and communications, David Quilty, accused Optus of pretending the fault lay in the popularity of its offerings, but in reality the cancellation of OWF points to an under-engineered and/or an under-invested network that “apparently cannot cope with demand”.

“Imagine entrusting the National Broadband Network to SingTel Optus and its monopolist Terria outfit, only to have the admission a few weeks later that it was barely capable of dial-up speeds as was reportedly the case with Fusion,” Quilty said.

Optus issued its own statement in response to the attack, suggesting Telstra look after its own backyard.

“Shame on Telstra. On a day when Telstra should be explaining why it’s sacking people, Telstra’s communicators are wasting time issuing shrill media releases," an Optus spokesperson said.

"Optus is investing more than $800 million to upgrade and grow our mobile network. We care about our customers and suspended sales of Wireless Fusion to ensure we give an optimum experience to those using the product.”

Tags Optus 3G

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Andrew Hendry

Computerworld

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