Today Australia's telecommunications market is strongly contested. Competitors with highly skilled, experienced and focused marketing teams battle for market position, market share and profit growth. This has not always been so. Historically Telecom Australia's predominantly engineering culture believed that it only needed a nominal marketing department and no sales force. This is a brief story of the building of a new sales force over the first five years. After five years the "subscribers" were more widely addressed and treated as "customers" but it was to be at least another six years before the company made the customers the focus of the business.
Australia's first cellular mobile service was launched 30 years ago. This paper describes the business and political environment surrounding the launch, and the early evolution of the service.