Vodafone Hutchison Australia and TPG Telecom have announced two commercial agreements which the former has claimed are worth a combined AUD1 billion (USD698 million).
Under the first of these agreements, TPG will provide dark fibre and network services to more than 3,000 Vodafone Australia sites over a 15 year term. In order to provide such services, TPG will reportedly extend its current fibre infrastructure by constructing around 4,000km of new fibre to Vodafone cell sites across the country. This deal extends an existing relationship between the two companies, with TPG having already delivered 900km of fibre for Vodafone Australia sites between 2011 and 2013. Construction of the dark fibre network will get underway immediately with deployment to the majority of the existing Vodafone network to be completed during 2018. TPG expects to incur incremental capital expenditure of between AUD300 million and AUD400 million over the rollout period, the majority of which will be incurred over the next three years. Commenting on this agreement, Vodafone Australia CEO Inaki Berroeta said it would deliver lower latency, an exponential increase in capacity and enhanced resilience, adding: ‘Dark fibre is about preparing Vodafone for the future. It is the next step in our network evolution and builds on our multibillion dollar network investment in recent years to further enhance the customer experience … For customers, it will mean a higher-performing, 5G-ready network which will enable exciting future opportunities such as virtual and augmented reality applications.’
Alongside the transmission agreement, the two companies have also revealed what they called ‘one of the industry’s largest-ever MVNO arrangements’. As per a secondary deal TPG is to migrate it mobile wholesale customer base from its existing provider Optus to the Vodafone Australia network. No timetable for the switchover of TPG’s existing mobile subscribers to its new MVNO host has been announced, however.