TPG and Telstra partner up for better regional coverage

Posted: 21 February 2022 11:07 am
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The days of bemoaning your Vodafone coverage are about to end thanks to this landmark agreement between TPG and Telstra.

TPG-Vodafone's 10-year network sharing agreement with Telstra will give Aussies in regional areas access to more mobile providers and plans.

This means people who live outside large cities or need to travel long distances for work or leisure will likely see improved coverage.

This will be the case for all of TPG's brands such as Vodafone, felix, iiNet or Lebara.

Hang on, TPG owns Vodafone now?

Yes. TPG and Vodafone merged back in 2020.

Most mobile and Internet users still recognise Vodafone as their network, but it's good to remember that Vodafone is now actually part of TPG's brand umbrella.

What does the new Telstra agreement mean for TPG/Vodafone customers?

Overall, it's good news for those currently on any of TPG's umbrella brands.

  • Vodafone's 4G coverage will increase from approximately 96% to around 98.8% of the population across regional and urban fringe areas (where its coverage has previously been spotty). This means it will have the second largest mobile network in those specific areas compared to Optus's 97.3% reach.
  • All TPG customers (including those with Vodafone, TPG, iiNet, felix and Lebara) will be able to use Telstra's 4G and 5G coverage in regional Australia. Keep in mind that this is for regional areas only and does not include increased metropolitan coverage.
  • Telstra will gain access to TPG's spectrum across 4G and 5G so that it can grow its own network, increase capacity and continue to provide its customers the fastest possible speeds.

"The access is similar to the way Telstra currently provides wholesale services to its MVNOs [mobile virtual network operators] and [to low-cost sub-brand] Belong in this zone," said Telstra CEO Andrew Penn.

"This [agreement] is critical for customers living and working in those areas. It provides security and safety when travelling long distances on major roads and is only available for our customers travelling through or working or living in those areas."

How will the increased coverage for TPG work?

Customers in major cities will continue to use the TPG network.

When they travel to small towns, highways and holiday spots, they will switch seamlessly to the multi-operator core network (MOCN) zone.

To reduce environmental impact, energy consumption, operating costs and future capex, TPG will decommission 725 sites in the MOCN zone.

When can you expect better coverage?

Subject to regulatory approval by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission, TPG's renewed regional coverage will be available to its customers by the end of the year.

TPG will inform customers that its coverage is now available in wider regional areas. This will be marketed under the various TPG Telecom brands, but you won't see it as Telstra's network.

Customers will get the full network experience, which means you can expect the same speeds as Telstra customers. The regional coverage will be seamless and come at no extra cost. It will all be automatic and will require zero additional steps.

Looking for better coverage or a better deal? Compare mobile plans from major brands like Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and more.

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