TPG to launch its own Australian mobile network

TPG might be a junior telco in Australia, but the company has been consistently performing well. And, in a bid to move away from current telecom partner Vodafone, TPG has purchased managerial rights to 30MHz worth of radio frequency spectrum in the 700MHz band — spectrum which has been lying unsold since it was first offered by the government in 2013.

The ISP had previously acquired licences for the 2.5GHz and 1,800MHz bands, and this latest acquisition puts TPG firmly on the path to building its own mobile network, giving Telstra, Optus and Vodafone some further competition.

The company’s latest licence allows it to use the spectrum starting 1 April 2018, and will expire on 31 December 2029.

Network expansion

TPG has announced that it will spend $1.9 billion on building the new network, which is expected to service 80% of the country’s population. It will be rolled out over three years, with coverage beginning some time in 2018.

In a statement to the Australian Security Exchange (ASX), a spokesperson for the telco said that, “The network would provide broad coverage across densely populated areas of the country with approximately 2,000 to 2,500 sites.”

Commenting on this relative ‘leap of faith’ for the company, TPG CEO David Teoh stated that, “This acquisition of 700MHz spectrum in Australia is a tremendous development for the long-term future of TPG. We believe that our mobile strategy will be complementary to our ongoing fixed line business, with the ability to bundle mobile and fixed services expected to have a beneficial effect on our already low fixed services customer churn.”

It has been reported that TPG will fund the new mobile network using operational cash flows and through debt facilities, and is trying to secure $400 million of capital.

TPG recently spread its wings to expand outside of Australia and is in the early stages of setting up shop in the Singaporean telecom marketplace.

Sharmishta Sarkar
Managing Editor (APAC)

While she's happiest with a camera in her hand, Sharmishta's main priority is being TechRadar's APAC Managing Editor, looking after the day-to-day functioning of the Australian, New Zealand and Singapore editions of the site, steering everything from news and reviews to ecommerce content like deals and coupon codes. While she loves reviewing cameras and lenses when she can, she's also an avid reader and has become quite the expert on ereaders and E Ink writing tablets, having appeared on Singaporean radio to talk about these underrated devices. Other than her duties at TechRadar, she's also the Managing Editor of the Australian edition of Digital Camera World, and writes for Tom's Guide and T3.