TPG is calling for Australians to register their interest in trying out the newest Australian mobile network with a headline unbeatable deal – six months free access and unlimited mobile data, but as always, there are some catches.
The free period is in place for the first six months, the network covers five capital cities, but not all areas in those cities, the unlimited data plan naturally has speed limits after 1GB of data is downloaded, the plan obviously isn't free forever, TPG, iiNet and Internode customers will be given priority to access the service, and you can't use the network just yet.
And questions abound – how quickly will network coverage expand? Is there a roaming agreement so you don't lose coverage with a "no signal" message once you leave the initial trial coverage areas? Will you be able to pay for faster access if you want it? Will there be international roaming available for those who travel overseas? Will TPG also sell phones on contract? How much capacity is on the network? It's obviously being installed with equipment easily upgradeable to 5G standards, right? Are there any other catches that we don't know about yet? Presumably this means unlimited voice and text, too? And other questions besides.
All of that said – who cares! This is Australia's fourth major mobile network, one that will shake up the competitive telco environment even more than it has already been over the last few years, and it will likely be the most competitive player in the market, although that is all yet to be seen.
If you're happy with the network and it quality, then "customers who choose to continue with the plan after the six month free period will pay a monthly charge of $9.99".
TPG’s executive chairman, David Teoh, naturally describes himself as being "thrilled to be putting the new network to its initial use", and said: "The TPG team has been working hard constructing our own network and I feel proud and excited to be introducing our very first on-net mobile product offering.
"We are inviting users to register to experience our coverage and network performance as well as to take advantage of unlimited mobile data for free. This promotion is the first of its kind in Australia and signals a new era of competition in the mobile market and will undoubtedly bring great benefit to Australian consumers” Teoh said.
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Craig Levy, TPG’s chief operating officer, noted that SIM purchase and product support would be available via TPG’s online platform, and said: "Throughout the duration of the trial, customer sign up will be available exclusively via the TPG website and customer support will be available online via the ‘TPG Community’ on our website where other users and TPG staff will provide feedback and assistance."
TPG tells us that "initial mobile network coverage will include CBD areas and numerous surrounding suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane, as listed in the table below".
Levy added: “The network rollout is ongoing and our mobile network coverage will increase significantly over time as we make the best use of our extensive fibre optic network assets."
If you're a TPG customer "who would like to participate in the trial and take advantage of the fantastic value available on the new TPG plan" can register their details at TPG here".
TPG says it will be "sending out invitations to persons who express interest, with priority being given to existing TPG, iiNet and Internode broadband customers".
Below is the planned coverage chart for TPG’s mobile network trial – I've extracted the text but am also pointing a screenshot of the chart below.
Coverage areas shown below image:
Presumably this network will increase in size and scope as the months and years go by, but to start with, here are the suburbs in Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra, Adelaide and Brisbane getting coverage to start with:
- Sydney CBD
- Surry Hills
- Moore Park
- Bondi Junction
- Dulwich Hill
- Summer Hill
- Melbourne CBD
- South Melbourne
- Port Melbourne
- West Footscray
- South Yarra
- St Kilda
- Glen Iris
- North Melbourne
- East Melbourne
- Brunswick West
- Moonee Ponds
- Pascoe Vale
- Adelaide CBD
- North Adelaide
- Canberra CBD
- Brisbane CBD
- Kangaroo Point
- Spring Hill
- Fortitude Valley
- New Farm
- East Brisbane
- South Brisbane
- West End
- Highgate Hill