Optus Wholesale adds wireless broadband for MVNOs

Optus is now providing wholesale access to wireless broadband services for MVNOs across its 4G mobile network footprint.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Senior Reporter on

Optus' wholesale business has announced the launch of a home wireless broadband solution for mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs), which are now able to offer the service to their own customers.

According to Optus Wholesale, its wireless broadband offering has "network speeds comparable to that of a fixed broadband line": In metro areas with 2300MHz coverage, wholesale customers will be served with speeds of up to 12/1Mbps, Optus said, while those without the requisite spectrum will be on speeds of 5/1Mbps.

Upon reaching their maximum data allowance, end users would also have their speeds throttled to 256kbps.

"We work closely with our partners to deliver a service that will improve customer experience, and we've developed this following market demand for a more flexible solution," Optus Wholesale VP of Sales and Marketing John Castro said.

"Home Wireless Broadband is an alternative to fixed broadband, so our wholesale partners are now able to offer a solution for people living in areas where NBN has not yet been rolled out or for people that like a plug and play option for their home internet service."

The no lock-in service is available across Optus' 4G footprint, with Exetel the first customer taking advantage of the offering. Included in the package is a Huawei B525 wireless modem with a SIM card.

Optus last month announced pushing its 4G network to 818Mbps through the use of Massive Multiple-Input Multiple-Output (MIMO) technology with three-cell carrier (3CC) aggregation during trials with Huawei.

As part of its previously announced 4.5G expansion, Optus will begin deploying its 3CC-Massive MIMO technology across its 4G networks in capital cities starting from the end of 2017, predominantly in Sydney and Melbourne.

Optus already wholesales its 4G network to MVNOs Moose Mobile, Amaysim, and Virgin Mobile to provide mobile services, and provides wholesale services across the National Broadband Network (NBN).

Optus began offering Ethernet over NBN (EoNBN) to its wholesale customers in June, to be used in bandwidth-intensive Layer 2 and 3 use cases including setting up private VPNs, internet access, WANs, and improving access to cloud services.

"This new technology means Optus Wholesale can deliver wholesale partners enterprise grade data services over the NBN network [sic] in addition to our existing fibre and copper networks to deliver more reach and flexibility," Castro said at the time.

"There is an increasing appetite to deliver more business and enterprise products across the NBN."

Optus Wholesale is additionally looking to produce an "Evolve Voice" product to be delivered via EoNBN.

In August, Optus reached a deal with BTB Australia for onselling NBN services to energy company WINconnect.

Via its Optus partnership, BTB is able to offer a white-label service including NBN access, technical support, network design, customer service, billing, and debt collection.

"This relationship ... highlights the support existing NBN resellers or potential resellers can access to enter the NBN market without building a telecommunications business from scratch," Castro explained at the time.

"WINconnect will be able to offer their energy services in addition to NBN. Delivering these essential home services bundled together is a great way to add value for customers and delivering services they need without them having to engage with multiple suppliers."

Optus began offering its wholesale residential NBN product through all 121 points of interconnect (POIs) in July last year, at the time also signing a deal to provide wholesale access to SpinTel's residential broadband customers.

In January 2017, Optus Wholesale then expanded its wholesale NBN offering by providing state-based aggregation models, as well as by the launch of wholesale access to NBN's hybrid fibre-coaxial (HFC) network.

Optus provides Layer 2 wholesale aggregation to the 121 POIs, along with access technologies available from NBN, allowing smaller service providers to provide NBN services across Australia without having to build out their own infrastructure.

Optus Wholesale argued last year that the emergence of the NBN will revitalise the wholesale broadband industry by bringing with it the principles of ubiquity and simplicity, and creating a level playing field.

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