Hutchison's 3 and Telstra have faced off in the Supreme Court this
week to argue over their shared mobile network.
"An issue has arisen between [Hutchison] and Telstra regarding
our shared network," a 3 spokesperson said. The issue was a
difference in opinion over certain terms and conditions of their
shared network agreement, the spokesperson said, which had led
to the companies seeking clarification in the court.
Telstra and 3
signed an agreement in 2004 to share a 2100MHz
metropolitan network. Telstra paid Hutchison $450 million so that
the carrier's network could become a core asset of the joint
venture. The sharing agreement was supposed to run until the
spectrum licences expired in 2017 or later. However, the recent
decision to merge the Australian operations of Vodafone and
Hutchison has made the situation more complicated.
3 CEO Nigel Dews, who is set to head up the merged entity, has said on more than
one occasion that its sharing agreement with Telstra would
continue, as would Vodafone's agreement with Optus.
The 3 spokesperson said that the action did not mean the
agreement with Telstra was coming to an end and that it would also
have no impact on the completion of the merger with Vodafone.
"The matter is currently before the courts and it is not
appropriate for us to comment further pending its resolution," the
The merger may face some opposition from another quarter after
issued a statement outlining its concerns with the merger, which
included worries that the level of competition would fall.
Telstra was unable to comment in time for this article.