Finder to the Node: More telcos set their sights on 5G while Officeworks gets in on the NBN

Posted: 27 December 2018 9:04 am

MVNOs are gearing up to go all-in on 5G

Optus, Dodo, iPrimus and Commander have all gotten a little closer this week, with Optus renewing its contract with MVNO organisation Vocus Group Limited. As the parent company for Dodo, iPrimus and Commander, Vocus has leveraged Optus' 4G network for its subsidiary mobile services since 2012, and this new agreement will see Vocus gain access to the 5G infrastructure Optus is currently aiming to roll out in early 2019.

With significant hype building for 5G technology, this move isn't particularly surprising. As the high-speed mobile infrastructure goes live across the country, it's likely most MVNOs will renegotiate their resale contracts to provide their customers with access to 5G. However, what is noteworthy, is Vocus CEO Kevin Russel's comment regarding the role 5G will play in the company's future:

"[5G] enables our Consumer resale business to rebalance its economics away from a complex and increasingly costly NBN wholesale broadband model to more sustainable and commercial margins in mobile."

Frustration with the NBN is a common sentiment among network providers, and this statement supports comments like those from ACCC chair Rod Sims regarding the potential for 5G to replace fixed-line broadband for many Aussie households. Should the technology prove reliable and affordable enough, could we see big-name providers like Dodo and iPrimus exit the NBN market altogether in favour of a mobile-broadband-only approach? Such a move could provide the impetus necessary for NBN Co. to shake up its pricing structure and give more Aussies the means to enjoy high-speed broadband Internet.

Credit for initial reporting to Australian Financial Review.

Officeworks enters the NBN marketplace

As the NBN rollout draws ever closer to its conclusion, more and more companies are joining the reseller market. The latest name to throw its hat into the ring comes as quite the surprise, with office supply chain Officeworks expanding its business to include both personal and business NBN services under the "Accord with Officeworks" label.

Despite their peculiar origins, Officeworks' NBN plans are relatively standard fare. Three speed tiers are available, with a Standard connection offering typical evening speeds of 20.91Mbps, a Standard Plus connection delivering typical evening speeds of 43.6Mbps and a Premium connection typically serving up 80Mbps during the evening.

All plans come with unlimited data and operate on a minimum 12-month contract. Pricing is a little on the high-end of current offerings, with Officeworks charging $69 per month for its Standard plan, $79 a month for its Standard Plus plan and $89 a month for its Premium plan. On the plus side, there are no set-up fees, but you will have to pay for a modem if you don't already have an NBN-compatible model handy.

Credit to CRN for initial reporting.

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Finder to the Node is a weekly round-up of all the latest news surrounding Australia's complex National Broadband Network.

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