Next G chunk pulls 3 from tight spot: Ovum

A new agreement hatched by 3 to allow users to roam onto Telstra's Next G network will save 3 from being squeezed out of the mobile market, analysts say.

The new agreement that allows mobile operator 3 to roam onto parts of Telstra’s Next G network will ensure 3 remains a competitive force in the mobile market, according to analyst firm Ovum.

Prior to the agreement, 3 offered national 2G network coverage through Telstra’s own 2G network, but its 3G coverage remained at 56%, a fact which opened 3 up to attack from the other providers.

“In a game where coverage is king, 3 had potential to be squeezed. These announcements will ensure it remains competitive,” Ovum’s Nathan Burley said.

Burley said that the revenue for Telstra from allowing 3 to roam on its 2G network had become a significant stream. And although Telstra was reluctant to allow wholesale access to the Next G network, 3 had other options in Optus and Vodafone.

Moving forward, 3 expects its 3G network coverage to reach 96% of Australia’s population.

This expansion is significant, according to Ovum, because it means there will be four competing sets of mobile infrastructure in some areas. Ovum previously predicted a maximum of three such sets of infrastructure.

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