TPG Telecom plans to begin inviting customers to access its 5G fixed wireless services from June, the company’s CEO and managing director Iñaki Berroeta has told shareholders.
The publicly listed telco, an entity combining the freshly merged businesses of Vodafone Australia and TPG, has been accelerating its 5G efforts over the past several months, buying up additional mobile spectrum and rolling out 5G services to more than 500 suburbs in cities and major centres around Australia.
Moreover, more than half a million of the telco’s customers are now using 5G mobile devices on its network, according to Berroeta.
“Today, I am pleased to announce that we will begin inviting selected customers to access our 5G fixed wireless services next month,” Berroeta said in a presentation drafted for the company’s first annual general meeting as a combined entity on 6 May. “Take-up of our fixed wireless services has been encouraging as we expand the service across more brands and channels.
“At the recent millimetre wave auction, we secured spectrum holdings in all available licence areas which will significantly increase capacity for our fixed wireless and 5G mobile services,” he added.
In April, Telstra, Optus, TPG Telecom subsidiary Mobile JV, Pentanet and Dense Air Australia came away with the rights to radio spectrum in the 26 GHz band, considered an optimal ingredient for delivering 5G services in Australia.
Collectively, the telcos paid $647,642,100, with Telstra being the biggest contributor, winning 150 lots for $276,576,200. Optus, meanwhile, won 116 lots for $226,203,100.
Mobile JV, a subsidiary of the recently merged TPG-Vodafone entity TPG Telecom, won 86 lots for $108,186,700, while Perth telco Pentanet won four lots for $7,986,200. Additionally, Dense Air Australia won two lots for $28,689,900.
“We are on track to reach 85 per cent 5G population coverage in the top six cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Perth, Adelaide and Canberra by the end of the year,” Berroeta said.
“The millimetre wave spectrum we acquired will complement our current spectrum holdings and allow us to deliver an excellent 5G experience for customers. The spectrum will be used to offer 5G fixed services to the mass market as an NBN alternative, and to boost performance for 5G mobile services.
“The $108.2 million fee for the spectrum, which we intend to pay in five equal annual instalments from this year, was an excellent outcome for shareholders,” he added.
At the same time, Berroeta said that TPG continued to strengthen its enterprise broadband offering, leveraging new National Broadband Network (NBN) products and its own fibre assets and build capabilities.
“In the last quarter, we have been awarded contracts with two major companies which have national and international operations,” he said. “Fibre rollout to our mobile sites is ahead of schedule and we have integrated in excess of 400 small cells enhancing coverage and capacity in our network.”