TPG to trial free access to 4G network for six months

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TPG to trial free access to 4G network for six months

For invited customers.

TPG will offer the first customers that connect to its forthcoming 4G network a completely free service for the first six months.

The telco said in a statement that the trial service - which is to be made available in “Q3-Q4 2018” - would come with 1GB of data per day at uncapped speeds.

Once the user exceeded that first gigabyte of usage in a day, the speed would be throttled back to 1Mbps.

The price is likely to be a major attraction for new sign-ups: no usage fees charged for the first six months, and then $9.99 a month after.

The trial will run in “CBD areas and numerous surrounding suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane,” TPG said in a statement.

It was unclear how many customers would be included in the trial. Interested parties have to register and be invited by TPG to join.

TPG said the priority would go to existing broadband customers of TPG, iiNet and Internode.

The plan comes just weeks after TPG’s chief operating officer Craig Levy signalled the company would be “aggressive” as it switched on its own 4G network.

This is in clear contrast to early speculation on TPG’s arrival as Australia’s fourth mobile network operator, which centred on TPG’s apparent lack of need for aggression.

Mobile rivals, however, did not underestimate TPG’s entry into the space.

Telstra said last year it expected TPG to be a “formidable” competitor that would impact service prices.

Entrepreneur Bevan Slattery predicted last month that TPG could rise to become Australia's number two telco in five years and number one within a decade.

Slattery said that TPG could offer products that tempted metropolitan users away from NBN services.

It was unclear how the three incumbent mobile telcos would respond to TPG’s aggressive price offer.

All three have, in recent weeks, launched similar versions of so-called “unlimited” plans, which are similarly structured to TPG’s offer, but cost substantially more.

Telstra is offering a $69 a month plan with 40GB of data at uncapped speeds per month, which then throttles back to 1.5Mbps.

Vodafone’s starting offer for unlimited is exactly the same but at a $60 a month price point. Optus also comes in at the same price point, and throttles video streaming content to 1.5Mbps.

TPG's full list of trial locations are:

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