MacTel customers are opting out of Optus and choosing Telstra

Posted by Michelle Lewis on June 2, 2021

mactel shift to telstra

Significant numbers of Macquarie Telecom business customers are choosing to take their services to Telstra, after MacTel announced it was changing its network carriage to Optus.


June 30 exit deadline looming

More than 100,000 Macquarie Telecom business customers have until 30 June to decide whether to stay and have their services hosted by the Optus network, or whether to leave MacTel.

MacTel has utilised the Telstra Wholesale Network for its carriage since 2016 but has now advised customers that they will need to exit their Telstra Wholesale SIMs by the end of this financial year.

The exit date of 30 June aims to spur businesses into swapping their existing Telstra Wholesale SIMs for new Optus SIMs.

It is also setting a compelling deadline for business customers who want to ensure continuity of service with Telstra.


Why are MacTel business customers choosing to stay with Telstra?

When Macquarie Telecom announced in March that it had signed an exclusive multi-year agreement with Optus, the telco did so without consulting its business customers. A significant proportion of these customers are now investigating their options.

MobileCorp sales director, Gavin Lo, has been assisting enterprise customers who want to stay with the Telstra network.

He says there is one key reason why businesses choose Telstra, and that is network reach.

"There are a significant number of businesses who have straight off identified that they can't afford to risk being on any network but Telstra. These businesses need reliable regional, rural or remote coverage.

"In the past many customers who chose Macquarie Telecom were motivated by price, but times have changed. MacTel customers who move to a Telstra direct relationship will see a closing of the price gap and will also receive greater speed, coverage, and mobility managed services when compared to their MacTel service."

Gavin Lo


  Gavin Lo, MobileCorp sales director


What are the differences between MacTel with Optus or Telstra Wholesale, and Telstra Direct?

For the past five years MacTel has been utilising the Telstra Wholesale network for carriage.

Staying with MacTel after June 30 2021, will mean moving to the Optus network. Those who leave MacTel will have a choice of moving to another MVNO with Telstra Wholesale, or to a Telstra Direct relationship.

There are some key differences between the three offerings:

  • Geographical Coverage  Telstra has the greatest reach of any mobile network in the country covering a total of 99.4 percent of the Australian population and 60 percent of the continent's geography. By comparison Optus reaches 98.5% of the Australian population, and Telstra Wholesale resellers have access to some of Telstra's mobile towers translating to 3G and 4G coverage that is roughly equivalent to Optus or 98.8% of the population. While a difference of less than one percentage point might not seem like a big deal, it has a big impact on coverage in regional, rural and remote areas. Many regional and rural customers can not get mobile reception with any provider other than Telstra.
  • In-Building Coverage The additional signal strength that is gained from accessing all of the towers and base units in the Telstra direct network translates into more reliable reception in more places, especially in delivering extended in-building penetration. This can be particularly important for large indoor venues such as hospitals, hotels, office buildings, and retail centres. If in-building coverage is critical, it is best to conduct on-site testing as coverage maps for each carrier might show the address has reception but this may not translate to reliable in-building signal strength.

  • Speed  Depending on your location there may or may not be much difference in the speeds experienced on the Optus or Telstra networks. This will be dependent on signal strength. If speed is critical to your business on-site testing should be undertaken to determine speed, especially in regional, rural, remote areas and inside large buildings. Telstra Wholesale does not provide access to Telstra 4GX or 5G spectrums which are the fastest frequencies.  
  • 5G The main reason that MacTel opted to leave Telstra Wholesale for Optus is due to 5G access. Telstra Wholesale does not provide access to Telstra's 5G network.  The Telstra 5G network is the clear market leader in Australia with 75 percent of the population covered by mid-2021.  A 2021 study by Systemic-PAB, which drove 1600km across Sydney and Melbourne, found Telstra had 78 percent coverage in those areas, while Optus had only 48 percent. 
  • Business Grade Data  Being with Telstra direct or Optus opens up the opportunity to secure guaranteed Quality of Service and Enterprise grade data services. These are not available with Telstra Wholesale.
  • Telstra Partner Managed Services Having a Telstra direct relationship allows business customers to access Telstra Partner managed services as a value-add on its Adaptive Mobility plans. At its base level Adaptive Mobility Care means business customers can hand off the day-to-day service requirements for their mobile fleet to a Telstra partner like MobileCorp. MobileCorp offers a range of Mobility Managed Services including device lifecycle management, expense management, MDM and mobile security.
  • Price OK let's talk price. There is no denying that a move from MacTel on Telstra Wholesale to a Telstra direct relationship will mean a price increase. However, comparatively, that increase may not be as significant as in past years due to the launch of the new Telstra Adaptive Mobility plans in mid-2020. Also the increased price point brings with it a range of performance and service inclusions that are unquestionably superior to those offered by Macquarie Telecom on the Optus network.

What is Telstra Adaptive Mobility and how is it disrupting the enterprise market?

How to move from MacTel to Telstra

With the exit deadline imposed by MacTel, there is no time to lose for businesses who are considering moving to Telstra rather than shifting across to the Optus network.

MobileCorp is a Telstra Platinum Mobility Partner and we have been working with significant numbers of former MacTel business customers to bring their mobile carriage across to Telstra.  

"The biggest hurdle for business customers who are looking to stay with the Telstra network is understanding the Telstra plans, price points and inclusions. I have been working through these choices with a range of former MacTel customers large and small. 

"What we have found, is the price gap between MacTel and Telstra, is significantly offset by the new Telstra Adaptive Mobility plans, and by the increased speed, efficiencies and managed services that are included."

Gavin Lo

Macquarie Telecom to Telstra


MobileCorp Managed Mobility Services

As a Telstra Platinum Mobility Partner, MobileCorp has an in-depth understanding of how to get the best out of Telstra Adaptive Mobility plans for enterprise, government, and non-profit organisations. 

Leverage our knowledge, experience and access to Telstra network systems to structure your new Adaptive Mobility contract.

MobileCorp Managed Mobility Services

About MobileCorp

MobileCorp is a Sydney-based communications technology company. We support enterprise, business and government organisations by providing managed endpoints and ICT services including mobile device security, mobile device management, expense management and managed connectivity solutions. We are also a foundation Telstra Platinum Partner and a proven track record of success over 30+ years of service.

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