Coles signs up Optus for business connectivity deal

Coles stores to get NBN fibre connections with Optus acting as retailer and enterprise mobile connectivity provider.

Australian retail giant Coles has turned to Optus Business to provide connectivity to its more than 2,400 stores and other corporate sites.

Under the multi-year deal, NBN will use fibre to connect Coles sites, with Optus providing corporate mobile services.

The value of the deal was not disclosed, but it is one of the telco's largest recent arrangements.

At the same time, Coles will be offering a larger range of Optus products in-store, and the telco will join the supermarket chain's Flybuys program.

"The increased speeds and capacity of this new network give us the flexibility to rapidly increase the speed at which our stores can access and transfer data," Coles chief information and digital officer Roger Sniezek said.

"We are delighted to be partnering with Optus to leverage the speed, flexibility, and agility of the new network, implement new digital initiatives, and ensure we are well-placed to take advantage of emerging technologies in coming years."

On Thursday, Optus appointed Kelly Bayer Rosmarin to the new position of deputy CEO of its Consumer Australia division, reporting to CEO Allen Lew.

Bayer Rosmarin was a Commonwealth Bank of Australia's group executive for its institutional banking and markets division for just under 5 years until July last year, according to her LinkedIn profile, before moving on to her current role as a board member of Football Australia, as well as being a part of the Department of Treasury's FinTech Advisory Group, and the New South Wales government's Digital Advisory Panel.

Lew said the role would "accelerate customer experience improvements" and keep Optus "ahead of the game".

"This role will harness the full power of our marketing, sales, product development and customer care functions to enhance customer experience and drive customer acquisition, retention and ultimately, financial growth," he added.

Last month, Optus announced a nine-month net profit drop of AU$147 million to AU$431 million, with the telco citing lower NBN migration payments.

Underlying net profit also dropped by 15 percent to AU$488 million, while earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) decreased by 3.4 percent from just over AU$2 billion to AU$1.95 billion.

Despite this, Optus said it had "strong sales momentum", with operating revenue up 5.2 percent to AU$6.8 billion and Lew pointing to growth across mobile subscribers and the launch of its commercial 5G service.

This week, Lew said the company will get months more experience by launching its 5G fixed wireless network before a proper 5G mobile solution arrives.

"[This] gives us the opportunity to start to monetise on our investment straight away, as well as real-life experience with 5G," Lew said.

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