Post-election migration to the NBN secured
BuddeComm’s annual publication, Australia - Broadband Market - Overview, Statistics and Forecasts, provides a comprehensive overview of the trends and developments in Australia’s fast moving broadband market. It includes surveys by government departments such as the Australian Bureau of Statistics, as also the regulator’s market data reports, operator data to Q1 2013 and market developments to mid-2013.
The report assesses key sectors in the market and provides an analysis of market dynamics, including statistics on infrastructure and data on the major ISPs and key providers. The report analyses both the retail and wholesale broadband service providers and examines key developments in HFC networks as well as emerging DSL technologies such as vectoring VDSL. Statistical tables and charts provide historical data as well as forecasts relating to fixed and mobile broadband usage, the operational performance of ISPs, and a break-down of business broadband market.
Fixed broadband market edging to the high-speed NBN
Australia’s National Broadband Network (NBN) has received widespread support from subscribers. Its implementation to the end of the decade has been secured regardless of political power-play given the Coalition’s acceptance of the infrastructure as a national asset. The progress of the NBN has been slowed by a range of commercial and operational difficulties, but NBN Co is pressing ahead as fast as is practicable, with greater uptake among subscribers as the work proceeds. These developments are bringing faster broadband to Australians, with profound consequences for the country’s economic and social framework. More detailed developments regarding the NBN are discussed in a separate report Australia - The National Broadband Network.
In this report BuddeComm analyses the fixed and mobile broadband market by separate sectors, including the business and residential sectors, the wholesale and retail sectors, and the ADSL and HFC markets. In mid-2013 the ACCC set out the terms and conditions for wholesale DSL services, setting out a pricing structure through a Final Access Determination (FAD) effective to June 2014. Wholesale prices will fall by around 15%, with lower pricing making it easier for ISPs to compete effectively in areas where it has been uneconomic to deploy their own DSL networks.
In the DSL sector there are emerging developments with DSL vectoring which could be utilised in some areas as the copper network transitions to the NBN. Yet vectoring is incompatible with some current regulatory measures and capacity remains related to distance from exchanges. Though the technology has been adopted by a small number of European ISPs it remains a cheaper stop-gap measure to provide faster broadband while fibre networks are being deployed for long term solutions.
Among Internet Service Providers (ISPs) there continues to be some consolidation with takeovers leading to a lower number of players. Further consolidation is expected into 2013/14.
In the business sector we have seen universal adoption of broadband and a growing awareness among companies for services such as video media and cloud computing. Businesses are among the keenest to switch to the NBK where it has become available.
The report’s assessment of the residential broadband market includes analyses of the key drivers behind internet adoption among Australian households, backed by data from market surveys and official statistics covering consumer usage and behavioural patterns.
HFC networks are dominated by the two major operators in Australia, Telstra and Optus. Parts of these networks have been recently upgraded to DOCSIS 3.0, in many instances providing faster broadband capability than competing DSL. Possibilities with DOCSIS 3.1 should improve download speeds further, though with broadband subscribers being migrated to the NBN these new advantages will be geared towards the cable TV sector.
Household internet penetration is among the highest in the region, at more than 80%;
Broadband access revenue continues to grow, expected to reach some $3.7 billion for 2013;
Cloud-based usage by business increasing as backups and shared data come from faster connections;
Data usage is growing rapidly, particularly in the mobile broadband sector as consumers make greater use of broadband-enabled devices;
Average connection speeds remain low by international standards, with less than 4% of connections having a capacity above 10Mb/s, compared to 49% in South Korea;
The cable broadband subscriber base is expected to grow only 1% in 2013. Despite the advantages of higher data rates than in possible in many areas from DSL;
Developments in DOCSIS3.1 technology will help preserve the longevity and capability of HFC networks for cable TV.
Key telecom parameters – 2010; 2013
Sector | 2010 | 2013 (e)
Fixed broadband subscribers (million) | 9.27 | 12.50
Wireless broadband subscribers (million) | 3.47 | 6.04
Data traffic (PB) | 191 | 650
This report is essential reading for those needing high level strategic information and objective analysis on the telecom sector in Australia.
It provides further information on:
Technological and regulatory issues;
The impact of the migration to the NBN;
Telecoms operators – M&A activity, market developments;
Mobile broadband market developments in light of spectrum auctions and WiMAX/LTE deployments;
Historical and current subscriber statistics and forecasts.Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.