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Boost forced to switch to Telstra as Optus ditches licensed prepaid

Optus has given the flick to licensed prepaid mobile provider Boost, forcing the company to switch to Telstra.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Boost Mobile has signed up to licence for Telstra mobile, after Optus announced that it will no longer licence services to the company.

Telstra announced late yesterday that it is looking to chase the youth market with a new alliance with prepaid company Boost Mobile. Since 2000, Boost Mobile had been reselling Optus services, but Optus told the company that it would no longer allow Boost to sell licensed Optus services from January 20, 2013.

"The new strategy will give Optus greater control of the end-to-end customer experience under a single Optus prepaid brand," Optus said in a statement.

Unlike the wholesale arrangement that Optus has in place with iiNet, Boost customers received services and customer support from Optus directly, just under the Boost brand. This means that existing Boost customers will stay with Optus after the change, unless they switch to the Telstra prepaid products offered under the Boost brand from early next year.

Telstra has said that Boost customers will get coverage through the Telstra Next G network, unlike the company's wholesale product, which Telstra has been careful to call just "3G."

Since offering wholesale mobile services in January this year, Telstra has struggled to pick up any major customers. The company has signed up Southern Phone and iTelecom Wholesale so far. Many of the existing resellers have stuck with Optus, as the company has begun offering wholesale 4G services, but Telstra has not.

iiNet CEO Michael Malone said in February that he has "no appetite" for wholesaling Telstra mobile.

"One of the things with the Telstra arrangement is that they only offer yesterday's technology; they never offer today's technology. As Telstra has now launched LTE [long-term evolution] for its own customer base, they're offering 3G to wholesale," he said.

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