Finder makes money from featured partners, but editorial opinions are our own.

What does the Optus and TPG partnership mean for regional Australians?


Optus and TPG sign a network sharing deal to give regional Australians 'more choice' when seeking mobile services.

A $1.6 billion deal will see Optus and TPG share network services across regional Australia by early 2025 if regulators give them the green light.

It'll be an 11-year multi-operator core network (MOCN) agreement which TPG can extend for another 5 years if things work out.

As per the deal:

  • TPG will gain access to 2,444 Optus mobile network sites in regional Australia. Its 4G footprint will increase from 96% to 98.4% of the population.
  • Optus will license some of TPG's spectrum to increase capacity, speed and service quality to both TPG and Optus customers in regional Australia. (Spectrum refers to the invisible radio frequencies that wireless signals travel over and help us make calls and more).
  • Regional Aussies will also benefit from Optus's plan to accelerate its 5G rollout by 1500 5G sites by 2028 and 2,444 by the end of 2030.

All brands under TPG (including Vodafone, iiNet, felix and Lebara) will benefit from the partnership and 'improved services'.

Wait, does this Optus-TPG deal sound vaguely familiar?

Interestingly, a similar deal between TPG and Telstra was roadblocked by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). At the time, the ACCC did say a similar deal between TPG and Optus was more feasible.

A TPG-Telstra deal would have reduced competition and "public detriments would outweigh public benefits" which is why it wasn't given the green light. This is because Telstra already has an upper hand given it's network coverage surpasses Optus and TPG.

Optus interim CEO Michael Venter said the agreement was "a significant win" for those living in regional Australia.

"Optus and TPG Telecom will be positioned to provide consumers with more choice and better services as we accelerate our investment in the regions," Venter said.

The agreement will reduce combined 5G network rollout costs in regional Australia, which will enable the rollout of 5G infrastructure to be completed two years earlier than previously planned.

TPG CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the network sharing agreement would significantly extend the telco's mobile network reach across Australia and enable the growth of its customer base in regional and metropolitan areas.

"This network sharing arrangement will reset the competitive landscape for mobile services in regional areas and provide Australians with more choice than ever before," Berroeta said, adding that they now won't have to waste time and resources duplicating infrastructure.

In a country as large as Australia, this is the sustainable approach we need to maximise established infrastructure, and expand the reach of telecommunications services, competition and choice for consumers.

What does Telstra have to say about the Optus-TPG partnership?

We reached out to Telstra to find out what it thought of Optus and TPG's new partnership and what it means for customers in regional and rural areas.

"Improving connectivity across regional Australia is important and we welcome Optus and TPG's proposal to step up to this challenge," said a Telstra spokesperson.

"Telstra has invested significantly over many years to build the best mobile network in Australia. Customers in regional, rural and remote locations know that only Telstra can provide the secure, reliable, resilient mobile network they need. We're committed to continuing to offer our customers, including across regional Australia, the country's leading mobile network.

If this proposal goes ahead it is another reason for government, policymakers and regulators to look at how Australia uses the scarce resources of mobile spectrum to best support customers in regional, rural and remote areas. This should include ensuring that spectrum is allocated in a way that delivers the best outcomes for customers and reflects the investments different network operators have made to improve coverage.

Will regional Australians truly benefit?

Right now it's a whole lot of technical jargon and very little on the consumer front minus the obvious high-level information - that people will have more choices of service providers and can expect improved coverage plus faster speeds.

We'll know more when regulators decide if the agreement should go ahead or not. Even after everything's green-lit, the main test will be when everyday Australians see the benefit in real-time.

Finder's reached out to Optus for additional comments but hasn't heard back yet. We'll keep you updated when we learn more.

UPDATE: We've updated our story with comments from Telstra.

Image: @Francesco Ricca Iacomino via

Ask a Question

You are about to post a question on

  • Do not enter personal information (eg. surname, phone number, bank details) as your question will be made public
  • is a financial comparison and information service, not a bank or product provider
  • We cannot provide you with personal advice or recommendations
  • Your answer might already be waiting – check previous questions below to see if yours has already been asked

Finder only provides general advice and factual information, so consider your own circumstances, or seek advice before you decide to act on our content. By submitting a question, you're accepting our 1. Terms Of Service and 6. Finder Group Privacy & Cookies Policy.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.
Go to site