TPG’s small cell network to complement Vodafone infrastructure, CFO says

TPG is forging ahead with its rollout of mobile infrastructure, with the telco expecting that if a planned merger with Vodafone Hutchison Australia goes ahead TPG’s small cells will complement VHA’s macrocell network.

“In Australia we are continuing with our small cell network rollout which is focused on densely populated CBD and metropolitan areas,” TPG CFO Stephen Banfield told a full year results briefing.

The small cell network will offer increased capacity and coverage to VHA’s mobile network. As of 31 July, TPG had spent $38.7 million on mobile infrastructure.

TPG and VHA on 30 August confirmed that they planned to forge ahead with a “merger of equals”.

Banfield said that an application for informal clearance has been lodged with the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission. The ACCC has a provisional timeline of around 12 weeks to assess the application, the CFO said.

The two companies have established a separate joint venture that has submitted a bid to the government’s auction of 3.6GHz spectrum. The merger will not automatically terminate if the TPG-VHA tie-up doesn’t proceed.

TPG today announced a $398 million profit for the 12 months ended 31 July, down 4.3 per cent. Revenue was up 0.2 per cent to $2.5 billion. EBITDA was down 5.6 per cent to $841.1 million.

The telco reported underlying profit was up 3.5 per cent to $433.7 million.

During the year the company boosted its NBN subscriber base by 300,000 to 861,000. Customers on TPG’s own fibre to the building network grew 13,000 to 50,000.

“With 940,000 DSL subscribers left to migrate off of DSL, we’re now around halfway through this multi-year transition,” Banfield said.

TPG’s mobile (MVNO) subscribers were up slightly year on year.

“On the MVNO subscribers: We revamped our mobile offerings during the second half and we succeeded in returning our MNVO customer base to positive momentum in the final quarter of FY18,” Banfield said.

TPG ended the year with 422,000 MVNO subscribers.

Banfield said that TPG’s rollout of a mobile network in Singapore is “well on track to achieve the outdoor service milestone coverage by the end of 2018 with our production network already covering in excess of 90 per cent of outdoor areas”.

Copyright © 2018 IDG Communications, Inc.

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