Australia’s largest supermarket chain Woolworths has signed a wholesale agreement with Telstra to use its 3G network to become a mobile virtual network operator (MVNO).
Woolworths will use Telstra’s 850MHz and 2.1GHz networks, which reach 98.5 per cent of the population.
The retailer’s head of telcoms, Jason Hair, said the 3G deal is the first step for Woolworths on the road to delivering a “straightforward, high-quality and value-driven service” for its customers.
This is Woolworths’ second attempt to become an MVNO and previous had a wholesale contract with Optus, which expired in 2013.
Telstra is the country’s largest mobile operator with a 51 per cent market share and 15.5 million connections, according to GSMA Intelligence
The country’s competition regulator, following up on complaints from at least one company, has been investigating Telstra for anti-competitive practices involving its refusal to offer wholesale access to its 4G network.
Macquarie Telecom reportedly filed a complaint after Telstra dragged its feet in offering access to its newly deployed 4G network, following Telstra committing last year to opening its 4G network to wholesale customers at the start of this year.