TPG Telecom (including Vodafone, TPG, iiNet and felix) and Telstra have today announced a 10 year regional commercial agreement which will not only improve TPG Telecom’s 4G and 5G coverage in regional areas of Australia but also Telstra’s wholesale mobile revenue.

The new deal improves TPG Telecom’s 4G mobile coverage from 96 to 98.8 percent of the Australian population through the use of 3,700 additional mobile sites. Telstra is sharing its Radio Access Network for 4G and subsequently 5G services within the area of the agreement but both carriers will continue to operate their own core network within the area where it exists.

Reciprocally, Telstra will gain access to up to 169 TPG Telecom mobile sites and deploy infrastructure there thereby improving both Telstra and TPG Telecom coverage in those areas. The deal at this stage is for 10 years with the option for TPG Telecom to request two contract extensions of five years each.

Telstra CEO, Andy Penn said of the deal:

This additional spectrum will mean that all Telstra customers will continue to experience Australia’s best and fastest network across the country, in combined 4G and 5G speeds. In particular, the spectrum agreement will ensure that regional and rural customers will now experience faster speeds in more locations on their mobiles.”

TPG Telecom CEO Iñaki Berroeta said that the deal:

“It represents a material uplift in the capability of our network and will provide significant value for TPG Telecom shareholders over the medium and long term. We will be open for business in regional and rural Australia like never before, offering a 4G network that provides 98.8% population coverage and rapidly growing 5G coverage across the nation.”

Of course the big deal here is better service and improved regional and urban fringe coverage for TPG Telecom customers in areas where they have suffered in the past. Telstra customers will also gain improved coverage on top of their already impressive coverage — that’s a lot of wins for a lot of people. The improvements won’t be seen straight away though with the deal subject to ACCC approval but TPG customers should see it come into effect by the end of the year.