TPG Telecom flags 5G fixed wireless service to start in 2021

CEO also compares NBN capacity charge to completing laps of Mount Panorama stuck in second gear.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

The newly-formed TPG Telecom is set to kick off its 5G fixed wireless service in the first half of 2021.

Speaking to the CommsDay Summit on Tuesday, TPG Telecom CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the method of delivery of broadband, whether via fixed line or mobile, is increasingly irrelevant.

"Customers have different speed, usage and budget requirement," he said.

"For some time now we have been selling 4G fixed wireless services under the Vodafone brand. This has been offered in areas where we have excess 4G capacity, and we have connected thousands of customers on this product.

"5G will take our fixed wireless offering to a new level and provide customers with further choice."

The entrance of TPG into the 5G fixed wireless space follows the 2019 launch of Optus 5G Home, and the current invite-only service offered by Telstra.

See also: Not in America? Forget about a mmwave 5G handset this year

Following the merger of Vodafone and the former TPG, the new company has been integrating its technology teams and bringing its fixed and mobile networks together.

"This 'one network' approach will allow us to enhance the capabilities of our fixed and mobile technologies and deliver the maximum benefits of the merger to our customers and shareholders," he said.

"We have some fantastic fibre products on our TPG and iiNet brands which we intend to offer to more customers."

Berroeta said while he welcomed the move from NBN to begin upgrading fibre-to-the-node connections, he laid into the company for its long-pilloried CVC charge.

"To unleash the full potential of the NBN for households, we need a sustainable pricing model," he said.

"The CVC charge is like driving a lap at Bathurst stuck in second gear."

Like many others who have criticised the charge, the CEO has pushed for the introduction of a flat rate charge for each speed tier

With the charging of AU$7.10 a month to consumers who can get fast broadband without being on the NBN -- who are mostly on TPG lines -- to pay for the Regional Broadband Scheme to begin shortly, Berroeta called on NBN to avoid overbuilding existing enterprise fibre.

"It is critical that we have the right environment to support private infrastructure investment," he said.

"To achieve this, we encourage NBN to partner with operators which already have enterprise fibre and other high-speed networks in place."

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