Vodafone Australia is already preparing its network to handle the demands of IoT traffic from 2018.

The telco today struck a $1 billion agreement with TPG to have the latter manage backhaul connections to and from more than 3000 Vodafone mobile towers.

Vodafone CEO Iñaki Berroeta said the deal would run for 15 years and deliver “lower latency, an exponential increase in capacity and enhanced resilience”.

TPG will need to deploy about 4000km of new dark fibre to meet its part of the agreement. Though works begin immediately, the lion’s share is to be completed in 2018.

This means it is future network users – rather than present 4G ones – that are likely to be the key beneficiaries of the network expansion.

“Dark fibre sets Vodafone up for the future as it will support the higher capacity requirements of new technologies such as the Internet of Things and 5G,” the telco said.

For customers, agreement w @TPG_Telecom will mean higher-performing 5G-ready network to enable exciting opportunities #augmentedreality #iot

— Vodafone Australia (@VodafoneAU) September 29, 2015

Vodafone – like other Australian telcos – already has one hand in IoT courtesy of existing plays in the precursor market of machine-to-machine (M2M).

It counts SecureNet – a provider of home security and home automation technology – among its M2M customers in Australia.