TPG Telecom expects 5G fixed wireless delivered over millimetre-wave spectrum to act as a “mass market … NBN alternative”, underscoring the competitive pressure wireless will exert on NBN Co in coming years.
CEO Iñaki Berroeta told TPG’s first post-merger annual general meeting that the $108.2 million investment in millimetre-wave 26GHz spectrum “in all available licence areas” via a recent auction was a “strong result” and “excellent outcome for our shareholders”.
“The millimetre wave spectrum we acquired will complement our current spectrum holdings and allow us to deliver an excellent 5G experience for customers,” Berroeta said.
“The spectrum will be used to offer 5G fixed services to the mass market as an NBN alternative, and to boost performance for 5G mobile services.”
At its full-year results in late February, TPG outlined the substantial market opportunity posed by 5G fixed wireless as an NBN alternative, particularly for customers signed up to lower-tier NBN services.
TPG previously estimated it could save around $50 million a year for every 100,000 customers it migrated off the NBN and onto its own network infrastructure.
TPG’s group executive of legal and external affairs Trent Czinner told the CommsDay Summit yesterday that the company’s new millimetre-wave holdings “will triple our total spectrum holdings and will provide significantly increased capacity to deliver 5G fixed wireless and mobile services, especially in high foot-traffic areas such as CBDs, as well as transport hubs and at major events.”
“As part of our mission to drive competition and choice for consumers and businesses, we will soon commence delivering 5G fixed wireless services as a compelling NBN alternative,” Czinner said.
TPG remains on track to launch the first iteration of its 5G fixed wireless service in the first half of this calendar year, with Berroeta saying the company “will begin inviting selected customers to access our 5G fixed wireless services next month.”
Berroeta said that take-up of the company’s existing cellular fixed wireless services, which use 4G, “has been encouraging as we expand the service across more brands and channels.”