Woolworths and Telstra strike deal
Telstra has announced its official deal to be the wholesale supplier for Woolworths’ own branded mobile products. This follows a similar deal by Telstra with Aldi for its in-house branded telco products.
Optus ended its previous deal with Woolworths as the supplier of in-house branded mobile plans in September 2013.
Mobile services sold by Woolworths under the new deal will not give customers access to the 4G network until approximately June 2016. Customers will only be able to use Telstra’s 3G network before then.
This is the case for other Telstra wholesalers such as Boost Mobile who also sells their products through the Telstra network. Boost Mobile is a Australian telecommunications company that specialises in pre-paid mobile phone services.
Telstra claims that Woolworth’s mobile customers will be able to reach 98.5 per cent of the Australian population through the Telstra network.
Woolworths’ Head of Telco, Jason Hair said that more details on the Telstra based services will be provided in the coming weeks.
When Woolworths and Optus parted ways in 2013, customers were still allowed to keep recharging prepaid phones at the supermarket chain. Customers were meant to be able to do this for at least a year. In March 2014 however, customers were informed that they had to switch over to the Optus branded network.
The switch over meant customers had to pay an extra dollar each time they re-loaded their phone with credit. Customers can still buy Optus-branded credit from Woolworths and Big W.
When the partnership between Woolworths and Optus ended, Woolworths announced that it would not be exiting the pre-paid mobile space but it has taken until now for them to return.
Despite the new deal between Telstra and Woolworths, other Australian telecommunication companies including not only Optus but Virgin too, have been jumping out of wholesale arrangements. Telecommunication companies have previously said these type of agreements often cause them to lose customers.
Before Optus decided to quit its relationship with Woolworths the mobile provider claimed it lost 64 000 customers in a similar set up with Dodo.