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Telstra offers wholesale prepaid 3G

Telstra has begun offering wholesale prepaid 3G services on a system that will help its wholesale customers meet their industry obligaitons.
Written by Josh Taylor, Contributor

Telstra has today launched its wholesale prepaid 3G service offering on a new dedicated platform developed by Ericsson that aims to offer real-time billing and charging.

The company has signed up its first customer in IspOne, Telstra announced today, joining the 10 wholesalers that Telstra has offering post-paid wholesale in January.

According to Telstra, it has a purpose-built "state-of-the-art intelligent network and online system" developed by Ericsson that supports real-time billing and charging for its wholesale customers.

Real-time billing information will be vital for smaller telcos, which will need to be able to provide billing information to their customers with no more than 48 hours' lag by September 2014 under the revised Telecommunications Consumer Protection (TCP) code that came into force in September this year.

The larger telcos will need to have their systems in place by September 2013, but Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone have all already implemented their own usage alert systems in the last few months.

Telstra has struggled to pick up any major wholesale resellers since launching wholesale 3G services in January. iiNet, for example, has recently begun reselling Optus 4G services, as well as 3G services, and CEO Michael Malone said that Telstra's reluctance to offer wholesale 4G was a sticking point for why iiNet wouldn't sign up with Telstra.

"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 long-term evolution (LTE) for its own customer base, they're offering 3G to wholesale," he said. "We'd expect to be able to offer [LTE through Optus] to our retail customers at a similar time as Optus retail customers.

"We have no appetite for selling the Telstra product."

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