Home > Communication > Boost Founder Slams TPG, Huawei Excuse An “Easy Out”

Boost Founder Slams TPG, Huawei Excuse An “Easy Out”

Boost Mobile Founder, Peter Adderton, claims TPG has used the local government’s ban on Huawei 5G equipment as an “easy out”, asserting the telco never had “any real intention” of building a nationwide mobile network.

“The last time I checked there are other suppliers that TPG could have used to build a network if they were truly serious about it,” claims Adderton.

He affirms the Australian government’s ban on Huawei provided TPG the exit excuse it was “so desperately seeking.”

“I would suggest that the numbers on TPG’s supposed ‘$9.99 per month unlimited wireless data deal’ were not ever profitable enough for such a commitment.”

The news comes after TPG Telcom axed the rollout of its Australian mobile network yesterday, citing factors outside its control.

TPG asserts the ban on its principal equipment vendor – Chinese giant Huawei – saw no commercial sense to invest further funds (beyond that already committed) into a network incapable of upgrading to 5G.

It comes as TPG awaits the ACCC’s decision on its proposed $15 billion merger with Vodafone Hutchinson Australia – reportedly delayed to April after the regulator voiced “preliminary concerns”.

Mr Adderton claims the ACCC should question TPG’s intention to merge, after axing its local mobile network.

“Given TPG is a MVNO when it comes to wireless, the ACCC needs to step back and look at what they’re actually now assessing. What type of entity are they now considering to either approve or block in a merger?”

“In the USA, there is a condition mandated by the FCC in regards to the trading of Spectrum. You’re forced to use it or lose it. There has to be a happy medium where you can purchase spectrum and are not forced to use it or lose it.”

Disclosed to the ASX yesterday, TPG states it’s not in a position to announce a decision concerning its spectrum holdings.

Mr Adderton has called on the ACCC to maintain competitiveness and protect MVNOs, ensuring at least 30% of traffic on a mobile network comes from a wholesaler.

“Furthermore, with a fourth network no longer on the horizon, this enormous competitive pressure on the ‘Big 3’ has instantly vanished”

“This isn’t helped by the fact that there is next to zero regulation around how carriers can treat MVNO’s and wholesalers.”

“To keep things competitive in-market we are calling on the ACCC to protect these parties and ensure that at least 30% of the traffic on a mobile network comes from a wholesaler.

Failing this, Adderton asserts the proposed merger is nothing more than a “get-out-of-jail-free card” for TPG and Vodafone shareholders.

Shares in TPG Telecom are currently trading down 1.53% to $7.06.

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