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.