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Macquarie Telecom brings Telstra 4G to business customers

Telstra's extensive 4G network is now available across wholesale provider Macquarie Telecom, which is upgrading its customers for free.
Written by Corinne Reichert, Contributor

Macquarie Telecom has announced that it will become the first business-to-business telecommunications provider to offer 4G mobile services across Telstra's network.

The telco will upgrade all of its customers who use Telstra's network -- which represents around 70 percent of its customer base -- to 4G services at no extra cost. Businesses will also be given access to a "portal" allowing them to determine the timing of their migration onto the 4G network.

"Not everyone will need or want 4G, but adding to the suite of options is important for us," said Luke Clifton, group executive of Macquarie Telecom.

"We have spent months carefully thinking through how the switch will affect our client's business operations and how we can make it possible for customers to activate and deploy new mobile technology without disrupting their business operations."

Clifton added that Macquarie Telecom is doing so well in its Net Promoter Score results -- which it began providing live data on in December in order to make customer satisfaction feedback available for potential customers to view on its website -- that it is now incomparable to all other telcos.

"Our Net Promoter Score of 59 is now so far ahead of any other telco, we simply don't bother to measure ourselves against other telcos," Clifton claimed.

"The only standard that matters is how we can continue to push the boundaries of highest standard of service we can deliver against the needs of each one of our customers."

Telstra announced just over two weeks ago that it would be opening up wholesale access to its extensive 4G network to mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) AldiMobile, Woolworths, Telechoice, and Better Life.

The wholesale 4G network will reach 92 percent of the Australian population across the 1800MHz/700MHz spectrum bands, as well as the 2600MHz band for extra capacity in some areas, and will facilitate maximum download speeds of 100Mbps.

"We know many of our MVNO customers are keen to have the opportunity to offer 4G services on Australia's leading mobile network, so we are pleased to have the next evolution of our wholesale offer ready ahead of schedule," Will Irving, group executive of Telstra Wholesale, said in a statement last month.

The telecommunications provider had initially planned to offer access as of June 2016 -- the same month that Vodafone Australia will also begin wholesaling its 4G network to MVNO Kogan Mobile.

Amaysim and its MVNO brands Vaya, Live Connected, and Zen Connect have been reselling Optus' 4G network over mobile services and fixed-line broadband for around two years, as has Virgin Mobile.

To bring its 4G network to more areas, Telstra in February spent AU$191 million on acquiring additional 1800MHz spectrum during the auction held by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The 1800MHz band is already being used in metropolitan areas by Telstra, Vodafone, and Optus to deliver their 4G networks, but was primarily in use in remote Australia for point-to-point backhaul services. The reallocation of the spectrum will ensure that it is used to bring faster connection speeds to those living in regional areas.

During the auction, Telstra won five lots of 1800MHz spectrum in Darwin, for AU$5.58 million; six lots in North Queensland, paying AU$18.24 million; five lots in Central Queensland, for AU$10.09 million; four lots in South Queensland, for AU$36.63 million; five lots in Northern New South Wales, for AU$14.82 million; and five lots in Western NSW, for AU$7.96 million.

It also won two lots in the Australian Capital Territory, for AU$17.22 million; five lots in Southern NSW/Riverina, for AU$15.13 million; four lots in Regional Victoria, for AU$28.15 million; four lots in Tasmania, for AU$22.67 million; six lots in Regional SA, for AU$7.44 million; and five lots in Regional Western Australia, for AU$6.01 million.

Telstra has tipped its 4G network to reach 98 percent of the Australian population as of June 30 this year, and 99 percent by June 30, 2017.

Telstra had a 41.1 percent total mobile market share as of March, according to Kantar, up from the 39.7 percent recorded last year despite its three network outages.

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