Australia - Broadband - The Market in 2014
BuddeComm estimates that the overall telecoms services revenue was about $42.5 billion in 2013, slightly down on revenue in 2012, as a result of poorer results from Vodafone and Optus.
Growth has in fact been subdued since 2011, largely due to competitive pressure on pricing among operators, as well as the continuing economic uncertainty among some sectors of society which has reduced discretionary spend. This is expected to continue throughout 2014 and 2015, with revenue growth limited to about 1%-1.5% annually. Most fixed-line and mobile voice services are now at levels where consumers would not tolerate price increases, so opportunities to drive increases in consumer and business expenditure in the short term are limited to mobile broadband services based on 4G/long-term evolution (LTE) technologies, fibre, and cloud data-housing.
The recent NBN review showed that the uptake of these technologies is greater than expected. This had already become clear over the last few years with the rapid uptake of the interim satellite service. While the coverage area remains around 7% (just under one million premises) the projected uptake of 230,000 premises was grossly underestimated, and obviously this has an effect on the capacity of the satellite and fixed wireless networks that are under construction.
The DSL sector continues to show resilience in the marketplace, bolstered in recent years by operators adopting new technologies which can deliver greater data capacity on legacy copper infrastructure. In conjunction with Telstra's unbundled local loop service, which provides a platform for competitors to offer broadband services, the slow-down in the rollout of the NBN has also meant that the number of customers expected to migrate from copper to fibre-based services is far lower than initial NBN Co forecasts. Many telcos have installed their own DSLAM infrastructure, enabling them to provide fairly high-speed internet services via ADSL2+.
In 2014 there are fewer than one million cable broadband subscribers, accounting for less than 8% of the total broadband market in Australia. However, most of these subscribers are high-end users providing relatively high ARPU for the cablecos.