Thursday, 04 March 2021 13:17

Macquarie Telecom tips out Telstra, opts for Optus and its 5G in $34m deal

Luke Clifton, the Group Executive of Macquarie Telecom, with logos that I added. Click to enlarge Luke Clifton, the Group Executive of Macquarie Telecom, with logos that I added. Click to enlarge

Signing an exclusive $34m deal to deploy Optus mobile services to its 100,000 business customers, including 5G, MacTel says it is combining its "NPS proven customer service with Optus' world-class mobile network".

Macquarie Telecom and Optus have said "Yes" to each other in a deal that has followed what is reported to be "a comprehensive, strategic review of mobile solutions," which will see Macquarie offer "numerous key services to Australian enterprises as the need for greater connectivity continues," including:

5G Connectivity and Speeds: Providing flexibility, faster speeds and greater capacity across multiple devices, fully managed and supported in Australia by Macquarie’s dedicated customer and engineering teams.

  • Wi-Fi Calling: Extends full coverage and network access across all Wi-Fi areas.
  • Voice over LTE (VoLTE): A network standard enabling businesses to use high-speed 4G data and voice in tandem on devices at any time.
  • Coverage: New tools to enable customers to make coverage decisions.

MacTel notes that due to the "increasing emphasis on mobility and 5G," the company "plans to expand its mobile business and hire new staff over the next three years. This continues the company’s unwavering commitment to only provide service from and hire in Australia."

Luke Clifton, the Group Executive of Macquarie Telecom said: “2020 changed the way Australians work forever. By providing 5G connectivity along with business grade nbn, we can ensure Australian businesses can work from more places than ever before.

“The fact is that 5G is here. It is fast becoming a necessity and complementary service to nbn for Australian businesses. This agreement will ensure we can continue to compete in a market that is still underserved and overcharged. These new mobile offerings will also enable the right tools, technologies and customer service to manage a mobile workforce.”

With Optus currently having more than 1,000 live 5G sites covering more than 830,000 households across Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra, Perth and Brisbane, it's clear the Optus 5G network was big enough to tempt MacTel away from Telstra, whose own 5G network already has more than 1 million customers connected to it.

Optus recently said its 5G is faster that Telstra, on average 22% faster, but whether that's really because there are fewer people on it is something time will tell, but work on rolling out 5G networks is hardly slowing down, and of course will be upgraded in various ways all the way through to 6G's release, expected around 2030.

In any case, with the agreement, Macquarie will "end its wholesale mobile contract with Telstra. It chose Optus’ wholesale offering due to its focus on collaboration, rapidly evolving 5G network, and commitment to future technologies."

Clifton added: “We’re backing a winner. This investment reflects our commitment to Australian businesses and providing the technologies they need today and into the future.

“Based on our comprehensive review, Optus was the clear choice in terms of superior technology, flexibility to build the right solutions, and cooperation. It is leading Australia’s wholesale 5G market, offers incredibly fast 5G and continues to invest heavily in its 5G network. Crucially, it understands the value of partnership in Australia’s 5G future while others are actively inhibiting it.”

“Macquarie has a great reputation for customer service and Optus is genuinely excited to be partnering with Macquarie to deliver mobility solutions that businesses need today more than ever.” says Ben White, Managing Director, Wholesale, Satellite and Strategy, Optus.

Macquarie Telecom proudly boasts this new agreement "complements a series of partnerships and technology investments by Macquarie Telecom in recent months and years. This includes its mobile reseller agreement with Apple, a preferred networking agreement with the nbn, its first-to-market VeloCloud by VMware SD-WAN, and a complete core network upgrade and refresh with Juniper Networks."

Oh, and in case anyone is wondering, we're told the mobile agreement with Optus is a multi-year agreement, which is just what you'd expect. 

In addition, "services will be available to all customers, with existing customers transitioning over the coming months. The process will be managed end-to-end by Macquarie’s dedicated and local mobile support team."

Finally, in what is obviously good news for existing MacTel mobile network customers, "5G plans are available immediately to new and existing customers."

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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

Alex Zaharov-Reutt is iTWire's Technology Editor is one of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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