Optus wins MVNO contract from Telstra as customers seek 5G

Australia network

Macquarie Telecom is moving its MVNO service to Optus’ network, ditching incumbent operator Telstra in the process.

The firm, which provides data, voice, mobile and colocation services to businesses in Australia, has signed a A$34 million (US$26 million) deal with Optus for mobile services, including 5G, according to a release shared by Scoop.

The firm said it has carried out a strategic review of its mobile offering, culminating in the decision to use Optus. As a result, it is ending its wholesale mobile agreement with Telstra.

“We’re backing a winner,” said Macquarie Telecom Group Executive Luke Clifton. Does that make Telstra a loser? Let’s not put words in Macquarie’s mouth…

Reading not too far between the lines, the decision to shift network operator appears to be linked to the provision of 5G services. One of the reasons Macquarie gave for the move is Optus’ quickly evolving 5G network and its commitment to future technologies, while Clifton’s canned comment referenced the changes in working pattern brought about by Covid-19 and the fact that 5G is “fast becoming a necessity and complementary service to nbn for Australian businesses.”

Further, Macquarie Telecom is not the first to seek out access to Optus’ 5G network.

As ITNews points out, Aussie Broadband is also making the switch from Telstra to Optus, having inked a deal that gives it access to the latter’s 5G infrastructure, while its deal with the incumbent provided 3G and 4G access only.

Macquarie Telecom made a point of mentioning that 5G plans will be available to new and existing customers immediately.

“Based on our comprehensive review, Optus was the clear choice in terms of superior technology, flexibility to build the right solutions, and cooperation. It is leading Australia’s wholesale 5G market, offers incredibly fast 5G and continues to invest heavily in its 5G network,” Clifton said. “Crucially, it understands the value of partnership in Australia’s 5G future while others are actively inhibiting it.”

It’s pretty clear what’s going on in Australia’s wholesale mobile market.

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