Aussie telcos Optus and TPG team up for network sharing


TPG had initially agreed a similar deal with Telstra, but this was quashed by the competition regulator

This week, Australian telcos TPG Telecom and Optus have announced a new agreement that will see them create a regional Multi-Operator Core Network (MOCN), extending TPG’s 4G and 5G networks.

The network sharing agreement will see TPG make use of Optus’ mobile sites across the country, increasing the company’s total number of available sites from 755 to 2,444. This, according to TPG, will more than double the company’s existing 4G network coverage.

TPG will also gain access to additional 5G sites deployed by Optus in future.

Optus, meanwhile, will gain access to some additional spectrum from TPG, bolstering their wireless network’s performance.

The deal is valid for 11 years, with an option to increase this by a further five years if desired. TPG says it expects to pay Optus roughly AUD $1.17 billion (USD $770 million) during this 11-year period.

“TPG Telecom expects this significant increase in the size and performance of its mobile network will enable it to accelerate mobile subscriber growth over time as a result of reduced churn and increased addressable market,” said the operator in a financial filing.

TPG initially agreed to a similar network sharing deal with Telstra back in 2022, with the move set to see TPG gain access to around 3,700 of Telstra’s mobile sites, while Telstra would gain access to TPG’s 4G and 5G spectrum.

However, the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) ultimately blocked the deal a year later, arguing that the move would harm competition. In particular, the regulator said the deal would disincentivise the companies’ rival Optus from investing in rural areas.

At the time, Optus had argued that they were the better potential network sharing partner for TPG, saying this pairing would better maintain market competition.

TPG, however, were indignant at the proposal, saying that “Optus wishes to use the authorisation process to remove Telstra as a competitor in relation to network sharing and leave it free to impose a less attractive, alternative transaction”.

Now, with the Telstra deal firmly off the table, it seems that TPG has gradually mellowed to the idea of a partnership with Optus.

Optus themselves say that the deal has been constructed specifically to address the concerns of regulators.

“There are some similarities between the transaction but there are some differences as well. And we believe that these differences are significant enough that the ACCC will not have a problem with this,” Optus’s interim CEO, Michael Venter told Guardian Australia.

He noted that giving Optus access to additional spectrum from TPG would not be as impactful to competition as giving it to existing market leader Telstra.

“We are confident that although we get access to the same level of spectrum, the starting position is very different in that Optus is not the dominant player in that region yet,” explained Venter.

The sharing agreement will come into effect in early 2025, assuming regulatory approval.

Keep up to date with all the latest developments from the global telecoms industry with Total Telecom’s daily newsletter

Also in the news:
T-Mobile and EQT form JV to buy Lumos
Korean Air shows off comprehensive urban air mobility system backed by 5G
Virgin Media O2 reaches plastic waste milestone

Perfectum selects Qvantel and Nokia to monetise 5G SA

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.

Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.

UK government introduces new laws in cyber-attack crackdown 


The laws will force device manufacturers to implement minimum security standards into devices 

The UK government has announced that new laws have come into force today aimed at better protecting consumers from hacking and cyber-attacks.  

The legislation, a collaborative effort between the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, the National Cyber Security Centre, and the Office for Product Safety and Standards, among others, rules that internet-connected smart devices must adhere to newly enhanced minimum-security standards. 

Most notably, these new regulations prohibit easily guessable default passwords such as ‘password’ or ‘12345’ and will prompt users to change common passwords upon device activation. 

A 2021 investigation by Which? Found that homes with smart devices could be exposed to as many as 12,000 hacking attackers per week. The average UK household contains nine connected devices, a number expected to soar over the coming decade. 

The new law forms part of the Product Security and Telecommunications Infrastructure regime, which is designed to improve the UK’s resilience to cyber-attacks such as the Mirai malware attack in 2016, which attacked 300,000 relatively insecure IoT devices and ultimately left much of the US East coast without internet. 

“As every-day life becomes increasingly dependent on connected devices, the threats generated by the internet multiply and become even greater,” said Minister for Cyber, Viscount Camrose in the announcement’s press release. 

“From today, consumers will have greater peace of mind that their smart devices are protected from cyber criminals, as we introduce world first laws that will make sure their personal privacy, data and finances are safe,” he continued. 

Starting today, all manufacturers of UK smart products will have to comply with the regulations. Find the full details of the act here. 

Keep up to date with all the latest telecoms news from around the world with Total Telecom’s daily newsletter

Also in the news:
South Korea to invest $7 billion in AI semiconductors
Swisscom expands 5G partnership with Ericsson
Daisy Group set to acquire 4Com for £215m

Industry Spotlight: Involta CEO Brett Lindsey Looks Ahead

Industry Spotlight: Involta CEO Brett Lindsey Looks Ahead

The data center sector has never been hotter, with AI and other new technologies driving new investments and technological developments.  But it’s not just in the biggest markets. Tier 2 and Tier 3 data centers are seeing opportunities, too. With us today is Brett Lindsey, CEO of Involta.  Involta targets enterprise customers in such markets and is backed by Carlyle. Brett took over the company this past winter, shifting over to data centers and the cloud from fiber and telecom. … [visit site to read more]

Bangladesh to create guidelines for LEO satellite operators

Keep up-to-date with all the latest news, articles, event and product updates posted on Developing Telecoms.
Subscribe to our FREE weekly email newsletters for the latest telecom info in developing and emerging markets globally.

Sending occasional e-mail from 3rd parties about industry white papers, online and live events relevant to subscribers helps us fund this website and free weekly newsletter. We never sell your personal data. Click here to view our privacy policy.

Digital Catapult welcomes new vendors to test Open RAN deployability in real-world outdoor setting

Delivered by Digital Catapult – the UK authority on advanced digital technology, the SONIC Labs programme is supported by Ofcom and funded by the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), to determine the practical viability and performance of Open RAN solutions. The next phase of the programme will assess how well Open RAN works in practical outdoor settings, mimicking the conditions faced by mobile network operators, to provide valuable insights that will shape the future of telecommunications infrastructure worldwide.

Lindsey Fussell, Group Director, Network and Communications at Ofcom said: “The expansion of SONIC Labs to outdoor testing marks the start of an exciting phase for this innovative project. This is an important opportunity for the companies involved to test their products in a real world, outdoor environment – which includes managing the many challenges that come with operating a network outdoors. We’re looking forward to working with this latest group of companies, as the project continues to develop insights that can help shape the telecoms networks of the future.”

Open RAN technology revolutionises wireless networks by enabling interoperability between different vendor products, fostering competition and innovation. This allows for greater flexibility and potentially lower costs in network deployment and operation, demonstrating the strategic global value of the SONIC Labs programme. The programme has established a commercially-neutral, collaborative, environment for testing the interoperability and integration of Open RAN products and services to accelerate market suitability. 

Testing Open RAN outdoors poses numerous challenges including weather conditions, background noise, coverage footprint, signal strength, and regulatory hurdles such as council restrictions and spectrum licences. Overcoming these complexities is essential for validating the efficacy and viability of Open RAN solutions in real-world settings, and the SONIC Labs programme aims to tackle these challenges, driving innovation and accelerating Open RAN deployment.

The new cohort members will be the first to use SONIC Labs’ outdoor facility and include AccelleranG REIGNSLIONSVVDN, and Pegatron. In addition to the five companies using the outdoor facility, ALPHA Networks will primarily use the SONIC Labs indoor facility located in Digital Catapult’s London headquarters. Over the course of the programme, all participants will also measure key performance indicators to improve Open RAN’s commercial viability, positioning the UK at the forefront of Open RAN innovation. 

Anju Day, CEO of LIONS said: “The SONIC Labs programme elevates the global multi-vendor integration of O-RAN to a stage aligned with practical deployment. It takes one step further from previous O-RAN testing activities that focused on standards compliance, interoperability, and performance requirements. Cohort 5 shifts focus to actual outdoor field deployment, applications, and licensed spectrum, fostering collaboration among different O-RAN product suppliers for real-world scenarios. LIONS proudly offers its 8T8R outdoor RU product for high-density UE applications and anticipates fruitful collaboration with teams from CUDU and RIC suppliers.”

Facilitating outdoor testing of Open RAN is important for the technology’s development, as new test-cases for Open RAN are explored and new applications of the technology are discovered, including streaming video content using Open RAN infrastructure. Building on the success of the SONIC Labs programme to date, the new cohort members will showcase the success of testing and deploying Open RAN solutions outdoors, as well as challenges and lessons learned, enabling Digital Catapult to pave the way for future advancements in global telecommunications infrastructure. 

Dritan Khaleshi, Co-Director of SONIC Labs said: “Success of this new phase of the SONIC Labs programme will be driven in part by granting access to both our outdoor and indoor facilities to the new cohort of vendors, as well as offering technical support and opportunities for collaboration with industry. We will also continue to connect vendors with the wider telecommunications ecosystem to present new opportunities for investment and collaboration, as a significant contribution to the global charge in accelerating Open RAN innovation.”

To find out more about how to join the SONIC Labs programme, visit

 T-Mobile and EQT form JV to buy Lumos 


The move will allow Lumos to ramp up its fibre network rollout across America 

Wireless carrier T-Mobile US has joined forces with EQT, a Swedish investment firm, to launch a new joint venture (JV), through which they will acquire fibre provider Lumos.   

Fibre-to-the-home (FTTH) provider Lumos currently provides fibre broadband and Wi-Fi services to 320,000 households focussing on Virginia, North Carolina, and South Carolina. 

Following its acquisition by the newly formed JV, the business will transition to a wholesale model. T-Mobile will take over customer relationships and use its brand to attract new subscribers.  

The joint venture will focus on identifying markets, engineering and designing networks, network deployment, and customer installation, according to T-Mobile. 

As part of the acquisition, T-Mobile says it will invest $950 million in the JV, giving it 50% equity in the business.  

T-Mobile is expected to invest an additional $500 million by 2028, which Lumos will use to expand its fibre rollout to 3.5 million homes by the end of 2028.  

“As the demand for reliable, low-latency connectivity rapidly increases, this deal is […] a significant step forward in expanding on our broadband success and continue shaking up competition in this space to bring even more value and choice to consumers,” said T-Mobile CEO Mike Sievert in a press release. 

EQT has already been a key investor in Lumos for six years, scaling the company and rolling out fibre to underserved areas.  

“We look forward to continuing to leverage EQT’s considerable digital infrastructure and fibre expertise to support the significant fibre  buildout ambitions of T-Mobile and the JV,” said EQT Partner Jan Vesely.  

“This new effort will build critical fibre broadband infrastructure that will enable remote work, education, and healthcare use cases across the country,” she continued. 

The transaction is expected to close in to early 2025 at the latest, pending regulatory approval.

Keep up to date with all the latest telecoms news from around the world with Total Telecom’s daily newsletter

Also in the news:
South Korea to invest $7 billion in AI semiconductors
Swisscom expands 5G partnership with Ericsson
Daisy Group set to acquire 4Com for £215m

US forces Chinese operators to switch off

China Telecom, China Unicom and China Mobile were ordered by the Federal Communications Commission to halt their fixed or mobile broadband internet operations in the United States, further escalating tensions between the two countries. 

Reuters reported, the order will also apply to another Chinese telecoms firm Pacific Networks and its subsidiary ComNet.

The Chinese companies must discontinue their services within 60 days from the net neutrality order approved on April 25.  

FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel said the commission had evidence that the telecom operators were provisioning broadband services in the US, and it had cited national security concerns to revoke or deny Chinese firms to provide telecom services. 

FCC Commissioner Geoffrey Starks pointed out China Telecom advertised on its website that it operates 26 points of presence in the US and offers colocation, broadband, IP transit, and data centre services.

The commission had stated national security concerns surrounding Chinese access to POPs located in data centres.

« They are interconnecting with other networks and have access to important Points of Presence and data centres, » Starks said, urging « a closer look at the threats that adversarial providers pose to our data and data centres, » said the FCC.  

Previously the commission had denied requests by US companies to sell equipment to Huawei and ZTE stating it posed “an unacceptable risk” to national security. 

TikTok on the clock

On another front of the trade war between the US and China, ByteDance, owner of popular social media app TikTok, prefers to shut down its app if all legal options are taken to prevent its ban on app stores in the US. 

US officials touted the Chinese company selling its app and its algorithms to a US buyer, but ByteDance refuses to give up its core algorithm that recommends videos to users, as it is essential to its business, said a source speaking to Reuters. 

Around 170 million users are recorded in the US. TikTok CEO Shou Zi Chew said he expects the company to win a legal challenge to block a legislations signed by president Joe Biden to ban the social media app. The legislation was launched on the grounds that it can access American citizen data or use the ap for surveillance.