Telstra and H3G in network access deal

26 Aug 2008

The Australian is reporting that Telstra has partnered with Hutchison 3G Australia (H3G), allowing H3G to access its Next G network in areas where the smaller operator has no network presence of its own. H3G is planning an expansion of its own network infrastructure, aiming to increase its coverage from 54% to 60% of the Australian population, although no timeframe has been announced for this expansion; the agreement with Telstra will allow the operator to compete for customers in 96% of the country. It is believed that Telstra’s motivation for the deal is to enable H3G, currently fourth in the Australian mobile market, to better compete against Optus and Vodafone, the dominant player’s main rivals. The value of the agreement is understood to be worth more than AUD120 million (USD103 million).