MacTel Switch Teams

Macquarie Telecom Group Executive Luke Clifton has announced that Macquarie Telecom will end its existing relationship with Telstra and switch their mobile platform over to Optus.

This 34 million dollar multi year deal provides access to 5G and all legacy LTE technologies, further highlighting the focus and importance the 5G network is playing in 2021.

Optus currently have more than 1,000 live 5G sites covering more than 830,000 households across metro areas. This is already rivalling the Telstra coverage maps, with Telstra reporting to have a little more than 1 million customers connected, which is currently leading the way in Australia.

Optus have recently gone so far as to claim that their 5G network is faster than their rival, suggesting an almost 25% performance benefit. And with ongoing issues with network stability, performance claims are voting well with consumers.,-opts-for-optus-and-its-5g-in-$34m-deal.

Backing A “Winner”

Macquarie Telecom note that they are “backing a winner” which is a familiar sentiment of late and calls back to the 2021 announcement that Aussie Broadband had to also make the switch from Telstra. While Aussie Broadband only has around 19,000 mobile customers, they are most certainly the cool kids on the block.

Mobile Spectrum 2020 Battle

All of this comes directly off the back of 2020 news and the tense negotiations that have been going on behind the scenes regarding the mobile spectrum distribution auctions. Telstra were furious at the regulatory policies the Australian government and associated bodies are suggesting to put in place. While the stated intention is to culture further competition between the telco’s and helping to rebalance the marketplace, the news hasn’t sat well with the current industry superpower.

The regulators have recommended guaranteeing Optus and TPG a huge slice of the spectrum in the upcoming auctions, but did not guarantee Telstra a similar piece of that pie. There is a rift between the carriers over whether spectrum should be guaranteed in the first place and even over the price to be paid for it.

Both TPG and Optus say unequivocally that Telstra should not be guaranteed any 900 MHz spectrum. Further, TPG argues it should get the guaranteed spectrum at the auction’s “starting price”.

Just Another Chapter In The Ongoing Struggle for 5G Dominance

Ultimately, this is just another chapter in the long history of competing super powers in Australian mobile networks. The mobility coverage and engine dominance of Telstra and Optus has been a well discussed and researched subject for many years

The mobile price war has been in a stand off for well over 18 months. Both providers have effectively raced themselves to the bottom of price points they can offer to their customers. Unlimited usage and month-to-month contracts are now becoming the status quo for consumer and even Enterprise customers.

MacTel Move A Sign Of The Times

Macquarie’s switch to Optus is a big move for their more than 100,000 business customers. The reputation behind Telstra’s mobile coverage superiority has long been an effective sales tool for resellers, suggesting this now holds less weight than years passed. Particularly important for business and enterprise markets, where network reliability and stability have been the significant factor in deciding whether to test smaller providers.

From Reedify’s perspective the move is more of a sign of the times and a healthy change for a market dominated by the very few for so long.

Will this mean Macquarie Telecom will become a major player moving forward? Perhaps. Reedify see the movement with 5G in a similar vein (and likely similar impact) than that of NBNco.

Consistent government intervention is interesting and a continues the recent trends of the last decade. Which it needs to be, to bring Australian service quality and pricing in line with the rest of the globe.


There is little doubt Telstra remain number one and are best positioned to take their rightful place in dominant market share of 5G services within Australia. But the cards have certaintly been thrown up in the air and it will be interesting as to exactly how they fall.

For Reedify, we are positioning our customers for the 5G “Revolution” here in Australia and the ever increasing competition in the mobility space through our specialised mobility management solutions.

While the majority of our clients (Being enterprise and government) remain with either Telstra or Optus for perceived benefits and assurances, we will be looking to increase our customers presence with smaller providers and their wholesale partners in the coming 12 to 18 months.

The opportunity to take advantage of the 5G technology and competitive pricing optimisation solutions, are shaping up to be a massive benefit to our client base.

So what do you think?

Does Macquarie Telecom become more or less appealing given recent moves? We would love to hear your take on this and any stories you may have regarding 5G and smaller providers in recent memory.

Until next time, check your bills and know your numbers.

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