Australia's existing mobile carriers have downplayed the entrance of a fourth provider later this year, with Vodafone and Telstra both welcoming more competition in the market.
Speaking during the CommsDay Unwired conference on Wednesday, Vodafone Australia's general manager of Technology Strategy Easwaren Siva said the telco is banking on its products including AU$5 a day international roaming, its unlimited plan, and its National Broadband Network (NBN) services to differentiate itself and retain market share.
"We were the third entrant, and competition is good for consumers so we relish TPG coming into the market," Siva said.
"I think it will invigorate the market, it will stimulate it, and I think we're up for it ... the reality is they are the second-largest ISP, they have lots of good assets, and we can see the sites slowly come online."
Telstra executive director of Network and Infrastructure Engineering Channa Seneviratne commented that he "couldn't agree more" with Vodafone's perspective on TPG, pointing to Telstra's newly unveiled simplified mobile plans.
"We welcome competition, I think it's good for the market and it keeps us on our toes ... in the last 24 hours, we've announced some refreshed plans, and I think that's good for the customers," Seneviratne said.
"We welcome [TPG]. From our perspective, it's up to us to look at ourselves and then work harder to differentiate ourselves in terms of what we offer to our customers."
Seneviratne predicted TPG's offering to be centred on a fixed-wireless service.
"If it's a limited footprint in certain areas, my guess is that it might be a fixed-wireless play potentially," he said.
"They're talking about -- I think they mentioned 80 percent population coverage. That's probably difficult to provide a mobility service.
"I'm assuming that it's going to be a fixed-wireless play, so it's not just competing with us as carriers but there's a whole bunch of other RSPs out there who provide fixed-wireless services, fixed broadband services as well."
TPG had in May announced that it would be launching six-month mobile plans at zero cost for its first customers from Q3 or Q4 this year, with the provider also offering customers access to unlimited data.
The first 1GB of data per day will be provided at 4G speeds, after which it will be capped at 1Mbps speeds for the rest of the day. After the initial half-year period, customers who choose to stay with TPG's mobile network will then be charged AU$9.99 per month.
"The TPG team has been working hard constructing our own network, and I feel proud and excited to be introducing our very first on-net mobile product offering. We are inviting users to register to experience our coverage and network performance as well as to take advantage of unlimited mobile data for free," TPG executive chair David Teoh said at the time.
"This promotion is the first of its kind in Australia, and signals a new era of competition in the mobile market and will undoubtedly bring great benefit to Australian consumers."
COO Craig Levy said TPG plans to sign up all customers via its website, where it will also provide customer support. The provider also rid itself of SIM and MMS fees while still operating as an MVNO on the Vodafone Australia mobile network.
TPG's trial mobile network coverage will be available in multiple areas of Sydney, including the CBD, Darlinghurst, Haymarket, Surry Hills, Ultimo, Pyrmont, Chippendale, Redfern, Woolloomooloo, Paddington, Moore Park, Woollahra, Bondi Junction, Waterloo, Alexandria, Beaconsfield, Kensington, Randwick, Kingsford, Mascot, Newtown, Camperdown, Petersham, Leichhardt, Dulwich Hill, Summer Hill, Ashfield, Burwood, Strathfield, Homebush, Lidcombe, Chatswood, and Hurstville.
In Melbourne, it will be available in Melbourne CBD, Southbank, South Melbourne, Docklands, Port Melbourne, Footscray, South Yarra, St Kilda, Hawthorn, Toorak, Kooyong, Camberwell, Burwood, Kew, Malvern, Glen Iris, Caulfield, Elwood, North Melbourne, Carlton, Parkville, Fitzroy, Collingwood, East Melbourne, Richmond, Brunswick, Brunswick West, Moonee Ponds, Maribyrnong, Coburg, Pascoe Vale, and Darebin.
In Brisbane, the network will provide coverage to the CBD, Kangaroo Point, Spring Hill, Fortitude Valley, Newstead, New Farm, East Brisbane, South Brisbane, West End, Highgate Hill, Woolloongabba, Paddington, Auchenflower, Toowong, and Taringa.
It will also be available across the CBD, Civic, Braddon, and Kingston in Canberra; and the CBD and North Adelaide in Adelaide.
Australian telecommunications entrepreneur Bevan Slattery has previously predicted that TPG will become the second-largest carrier in Australia within five years, while analyst firm Telsyte has said TPG could sign up two in five Australians to its mobile network.
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TPG's first mobile customers will be offered six months of free unlimited data, after which it will cost AU$9.99 per month, with the network to be available across Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Brisbane, and Adelaide as of Q3-Q4.
TPG will gain the bottom 20 percent of the market by offering a low-cost mobile product with no download limits, Bevan Slattery has predicted, adding that the network build should not cost as much as forecast.
TPG's mobile network builds across Singapore and Australia are on track, with the telco having installed sites in Sydney and Melbourne while it begins deploying more small cells in preparation for 5G.
Telsyte has found that two fifths of Australians are receptive to moving to the nation's fourth mobile network once it is available should it throw in high data allowances and bundling deals.
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