TPG Telecom sets 148km record for 5G link as founder sells shares
Australian group TPG Telecom, which merged with Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA) last year, has claimed a world record for 5G video and voice calls.
At the same time, TPG founder David Teoh, who stepped down from the board after the merger, has sold a A$335 million (US$238 million) stake in the expanded group.
Highly secretive Teoh – of whom there are no official pictures, only paparazzi snaps – put the block of shares up for sale on Thursday, via Macquarie Capital’s equities desk, according to Australian reports.
“Macquarie was calling fund managers seeking bids for the 53.1 million shares from $6.30 each, which was a 4.8% discount to the last close,” said Australia’s Financial Review. “The broker was running an auction from $6.30 a share, seeking bids in 10¢ increments up to $6.50.”
TPG Telecom’s share price on the Australian Stock Exchange (ASX) was A$6.63 at Thursday’s close, according to the company, after a A$6.66 high for the day.
Following last year’s merger, TPG Telecom owns the businesses in Australia of Vodafone, TPG, iiNet, Internode, Lebara, AAPT and Felix. The merger with VHA brought the Vodafone brands, but Hutchison’s Three brand in Australia had already been phased out.
The Financial Review noted that Teoh’s share sale came only eight months after he stepped down from TPG’s board.
Meanwhile the company said that it has used its 5G network had carried a video and voice call over 148km between two commercially available 5G handsets that connected to a single tower in Mount England, Queensland – about 25km inland from Brisbane.
TPG – unrelated to the US private equity investor of the same name – worked with Nokia to use its recently switched-on 5G standalone core network for the call. This was carried on spectrum in the 700MHz band.
Yago Lopez, TPG Telecom’s general manager of wireless and transmission networks, said: “This record-setting achievement has really pushed the boundaries of what was previously thought possible with 5G networks.”
TPG said it had tripled its 5G coverage to over 85% of the population in ten of Australia’s largest cities and regions. “This will lead to important leaps in capability for our network while also ensuring we can maximise the rollout and coverage of our 5G network to deliver the connectivity benefits of 5G technology to more Australian homes and businesses,” said Lopez.