Challenger telcos unite to take on Telstra, Optus, TPG

Eight challenger telcos have come together in an effort to boost competition and compete with Australia’s largest broadband providers.

Amaysim, InABox, Macquarie Telecom, MyNetFone Group, MyRepublic, Southern Phone, TasmaNet and Vocus Group CEOs have all formed an alliance called ‘Commpete’, which aims to take on the big telcos in Telstra, Optus and TPG for market share.

Their aim is to achieve 30 per cent of home internet market share, embarking on a new campaign to “drive communications market transformation” post NBN and 5G internet rollout. Currently, market share outside ‘the big three’ sits at around 10-12 per cent.

Commpete said that without the 30 per cent target, it’s Australian consumers who will suffer the most.

“Before we can improve we have to acknowledge that there is a problem,” explained Michelle Lim, Chair of Commpete. “The simplest measure of this, is that for all the investment and disruption into the NBN, Telstra market share in broadband continues to sit stubbornly at 50 per cent plus.”

Commpete says the NBN was first designed to promote competition and provide a fairer broadband market, but that it has currently only strengthened the biggest telcos.

It said that complex and restrictive contracts and pricing structures from the NBN favour the largest telcos and their resources. However, it cited that 5G’s publicly-owned spectrum by default supports competition.

“This is the time to give Australians better choices if we want to leap frog to a more dynamic market… it’s time to have competition policy that helps Australians stay ahead of the game, rather than policy that runs rampant risks to Australia’s telecommunications future,” Ms Lim said.

Commpete is formerly known as Competitive Carriers’ Coalition (CCC) and was founded in 2004.

How satisfied are Telstra, Optus and TPG customers?

In the broadband space, Telstra, Optus and TPG are comfortably the largest providers in Australia, but being the biggest doesn’t always make you the best. In Canstar Blue’s latest NBN customer satisfaction ratings, Telstra was rated just three stars overall, with Optus and TPG scoring four stars. The broadband provider rated highest was TPG-owned iiNet.

Another TPG subsidiary, Internode, also topped Canstar Blue’s latest ratings for ADSL/Cable providers, as well as for phone and internet bundles.

Meanwhile the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently reported that TPG was out-performing other leading NBN providers in terms of evening speeds.

In the mobile space, Telstra and Optus remain Australia’s largest service providers, although TPG is currently building its own wireless network to help increase competition, with the rollout expected to be complete in Sydney, Melbourne and Canberra by mid-2018.

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