MNF Group, whose brands include MyNetFone, Symbio Networks, Telcoinabox and PenntyTel, has announced it will sell its fixed-line residential broadband customer base to Southern Phone Company Ltd.
Southern Phone Company was formed with Commonwealth support in 2002 to deliver better telecommunications services to regional areas. The telco, which is owned by a number of local councils, says it now has a national customer base.
MNF said it expects the deal to be completed by the end of this March, with the migration of customers to be finished by the end of May.
It said that the decision followed a review of its “legacy” residential broadband business that “determined that the customer base was a non-core business”. Terms of the deal were not disclosed but MNF said the sale is not material to its business.
MNF said it had a close working relationship with Southern Phone, with the two parties “leveraging each other's extensive software capabilities through API integration for number porting and other voice capabilities”.
The company will retain its MyNetFone VoIP customer base and the residential mobile customer base of PennyTel.
The sale by MNF follows a number of telcos deciding to effectively cede the residential market to Australia’s major players. In October, ASX-listed Amaysim sold its fixed-line customer base to Southern Phone in a $3 million deal.
“The decision to exit broadband was not easy and was made in light of unsustainably high wholesale costs, intense competition and the need to allocate the company’s capital appropriately,” Amaysim CEO Peter O'Connell said at the time.
More recently, Vocus revealed it would no longer seek to grow its share of the consumer NBN market. The company, which operates well-known retail service providers (RSPs) Dodo and iPrimus, said it would “focus on optimising the broadband experience for existing customers.”
Vocus in February said that “NBN broadband is economically unattractive, especially for new customers in our Consumer brands”.