Vodafone Hutchison Australia and SingTel Optus may go for infrastructure expansion and site sharing agreements as they seek to free up costs and accelerate network upgrades.
Telstra's two rivals in the mobile industry entered into a deal in May over sharing of existing sites and building 500 new base stations across the country over the next four years. Under the agreement Vodafone would also be allowed to roam on Optus's network in selected regional areas.
The Australian Financial Review, earlier this week said that VHA's multi-national shareholders, Vodafone Group Plc and Hutchison Whampoa, agreed on an infusion of as much as $2 billion into the number-three carrier for funding chief executive Bill Morrow's turnaround plan.
Morrow has called into question the economics of expansion into sparsely populated regional areas, calling for all government contracts aimed at boosting regional mobile coverage to include open access arrangements.
According to industry sources, the telco could next year seek to expand its regional roaming agreements with Optus as it focused on upgrades in urban areas.
With the expansion of the agreement, Optus could gain access to more sites around the country, reducing a remaining advantage enjoyed by Telstra.