Telecommunications provider, Eftel (ASX:EFT), has jumped on board the National Broadband Network (NBN) mainland trials in a bid to become a big player in the wholesale aggregation space.
Five trial sites were announced in March: Armidale and Kiama in NSW, Wilunga in SA, Townsville in OLD and Brunswick in VIC.
The telco uses the Eftel brand for corporate customers and goes under ClubTelco for retail consumer customers. Eftel merged with ClubTelco in April. The latter is owned by the founders and directors of budget telco, Dodo.
Eftel joins 14 other ISPs in the mainland trial, including Exetel, Internode, Telstra and, most recently, TransACT. It is still going through the on-boarding process with NBN Co.
Pricing for plans will be announced closer to launch.
Significant changes to the Eftel board and to the company strategy led to the telco’s participation in the trials, Eftel CEO, Scott Stavretis, said.
Dodo has become the telco’s first wholesale client as part of the trial. Dodo has approximately 300,000 subscribers and Eftel, along with ClubTelco, has around 120,000.
With a large customer base, Eftel would be able to offer competitive consumer and wholesale pricing through the NBN, Stavretis said.
A number of telcos have expressed interest in becoming a wholesale aggregator once the NBN is commercially available. This includes AAPT, Optus and new telco player, Continuum Communications.
“Some aggregators that have signed up [with NBN Co] just don’t have the scale and won’t be able to provide pricing needed for, say, Dodo or other companies to buy services through them,” Stavretis said.
Dodo CEO, Larry Kestelman, was pleased with the partnership with Eftel and will be releasing his company’s go-to market strategy soon.
Besides pricing, Eftel also plans to bring out new applications such as IPTV and VoIP to attract new customers.
Stavretis said the company will announce its NBN products and services once it is ready to sign up its first customer.