Boost Mobile Boss Scathing of Vodafone-TPG Merger
Boost Mobile Founder and Australian CEO Peter Adderton believes the ACCC should reject the merger of TPG and Vodafone unless the new entity can offer safeguards protecting virtual network operators, arguing that brands such as his are crucial for a healthy and competitive telecoms market.
“The ACCC needs to put protection in place for independent carriers such as Boost and other MVNOs,” he says.
Like what is occurring in the US at the moment, Adderton argues that MVNOs are losing out because they simply don’t have the scale to compete with bigger companies. A good example of this is current policy regarding access to 5G networks. “MVNOs should get access to them straight away, not two years later, not one year later, but at the same time the major carriers do, so that healthy competition remains in the market,” Adderton says.
He is also highly sceptical that the merged provider will honour TPG’s aggressive pricing plans. “My guess is that they both might get a case of amnesia,” he says.
It was also worth noting, Adderton says, that TPG was never seriously intending to build its own network, yet they had managed to successfully spook the market. “As I’ve been saying consistently for some time now, Australia simply can’t support four networks. America has 320 million people and carriers are arguing that four carriers can’t survive, so to think it could ever work in Australia with our population wasn’t logical because at some point you’ve got to have a business that can actually make money. Yet the mere threat of another competitor was enough for Vodafone to make a move,” he adds.
The big winner, Adderton believes, is TPG, but it does nothing for its consumers. “The real good news is that we still have a very healthy MVNO market that needs to be protected by the regulators. This is where Boost Mobile plays a vital role.”