Optus urged Australia’s competition watchdog to reject a plan for Telstra and TPG Telecom to share mobile infrastructure in regional areas, claiming the tie-up would lead to higher prices and lower-quality services.

In a statement, Optus CEO Kelly Bayer Rosmarin (pictured) insisted if the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) approves the sharing deal, regional Australia will be worse off by further strengthening Telstra’s dominant position.

She insisted the deal “massively advantages” the incumbent player, risks creating a regional monopoly and “is not in the best interest of Australian communities”.

Rosmarin said the under the agreement Telstra will be paid to face less competition and will “gain unprecedented control” over the nation’s spectrum assets.

TPG Telecom announced plans to decommission more than 700 towers as part of the sharing arrangement, which she said would lead to less resilient communities as they will have fewer alternatives to rely on in an emergency.

In February Telstra and TPG Telecom agreed to share parts of their 4G and 5G networks for a decade.

The agreement is subject to approval by the ACCC, which is expected before the end of the year