Woolworths revives mobile reselling with Telstra

After ending its reselling of Optus mobile services, Australian supermarket giant Woolworths will now offer to resell Telstra 3G services under its own brand.

Supermarket giant Woolworths is re-entering the mobile arena, signing a deal with Telstra to resell 3G mobile services under the Woolworths brand.

Telstra announced on Thursday that it had signed an agreement to allow Woolworths to supply 3G mobile services on the Telstra mobile network.

"We are very excited to be working with a leading Australian company like Woolworths. We see this relationship as an important development in the continued evolution of Telstra's wholesale," Telstra's wholesale group executive Stuart Lee said in a statement.

"Our wholesale product gives companies like Woolworths that want to operate as virtual network operators the network access and operating platform they need to offer mobile services direct to retail customers."

Woolworths' head of telco, Jason Hair said that the company would provide more details on the planned offering in the coming weeks. The Woolworths mobile offer will cover 98.5 percent of the Australian population using the 850MHz and 2.1GHz spectrum bands.

It is not the company's first foray into mobile. Woolworths had been reselling Optus services for four years, but in late September 2013, Optus announced that it would cut ties with Woolworths Mobile.

Although Woolworths at the time indicated that it would keep the recharge service on for at least a year, the remaining Woolworths customers ultimately became Optus customers in March 2014.

Telstra is preparing to offer wholesale 4G mobile services by June 2016, but the company is also facing an investigation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) over delays in a 4G wholesale product, and alleged plans to make the wholesale product inferior to the products it offers to Telstra's retail customers.

Rival Optus already provides wholesale 4G products.

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