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Australia - Mobile Broadband Market


Attention: There is an updated edition available for this report.

Mobile broadband ups the speed and user base with LTE

Broadband is the facilitator for a range of services that are of great value to governments, businesses and people in rural and regional areas as well as in the cities. Mobile broadband can also increase this value even further. With around 5.5 million mobile broadband subscribers in Australia, the release of a 4G network by one mobile network operator saw uptake of more than 300,000 services in just over half a year.

Just as BuddeComm previously predicted, the use of Long-term evolution (LTE) mobility broadband would boost the uptake of mobile broadband usage and this is also likely to expand further as the National Broadband Network (NBN) use of wireless services commence.

Australia will see the NBN connect around 7% of all premises in the country to fixed-wireless networks. We provide details on the nearly 500,000 premises that will receive this fixed-wireless service, as those covered by it will be beyond reach of fast-fibre. The first fixed-wireless release sites are under construction with this network finalised by end-2015. The satellite services are currently coming from an interim satellite service and then will be delivered from two new KA-band satellites at the cost of around $2 billion.

Even though the cost of mobile broadband is still markedly expensive as compared to fixed broadband, in the publication we provide information on the increased usage that is being led by smartphones. With around 60% of smartphone users using a mobile phone to access the internet and then make product purchases, usage will only continue upwards as more users take on the use of mobile broadband.

As the smartphone sector in Australia sits in mid-2012, the Android market has now overtaken the iPhone as the user’s choice as the top smartphone. Nokia, Samsung and HTC are all seeing their market share change and with the 4G handset market about to expand as users come off plans, the changing of the brands may see applications and data usage increase once again. We will see the smartphone market continue to increase to more than 60% penetration by end-2012.

In this publication we also provide a brief global overview of the mobile broadband market. We update information on the rapid development of low-cost smartphones that are projected to go below $50 soon, and with tablets now already under $200, meaning that many people in the world who are not PC literate or have the ability to buy a PC - will be able to experience broadband internet for the first time through a mobile phone.

Traditionally SMS was the ‘cash cow’ for the mobile network operators. But in 2012 many mobile phone plans now also include free access to social networking sites or low cost using of over-the-top messaging services. So we are seeing mobile subscribers using iMessage and other apps including mobile email to keep connected and communicate, rather than the previous operator only method of SMS.

But SMSs also provide instant user attention as opposed to an email that may be unread for a number of hours or days. So SMSs will remain part of the culture. In this publication we provide an overview of the trends in SMS data revenue and messages with statistical background information.

The availability of mobile broadband has seen social networking boom on the move. So as we need a fast upload speed to allow the 35% of Australians who use Facebook on their mobile. The high uptake of these mobile service will also see more and more users adding to the mobile broadband user base.

The mobile broadband infrastructure in Australia at times often becomes data saturated and to ease the congestion the mobile network operators are progressively updating, expanding rolling out faster networks to support the data explosion. Two of MNOs have long-term evolution networks, Telstra deployed LTE commercially with Optus still in trial mode as at mid-2012, but with plans for the rollout by year end.

Meanwhile Vodafone has been updating its 3G network infrastructure and is expected to move into LTE area sometime in 2013. The Vodafone and Optus network sharing agreement that is to take effect in 2013 will allow greater coverage by these MNOs and may put pressure on Telstra users to return to these operators.

The mobile apps, mobile media and PMS markets are profiled in the publication with apps-based mobile content and communication services. The MNOs portals are profiled together with a snapsot of the major mobile media providers.

Market highlights:

BuddeComm estimates that mobile broadband users will exceed six million by end-2012 with growth rates still over 10%.

Facebook user growth is now slowing down with more than 11 million Australians with accounts.

Meanwhile around 35% of Facebook use is on a mobile device.

Smartphone penetration now exceeds 50% penetration rate, with 60% estimated by end-2012.

Revenue from SMS still continues to be the largest component of mobile data revenue for all the major mobile operators in Australia in 2012, but its share and value is decreasing.

Mobile broadband ARPU starts falling for 3G services.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • THE MARKET IN 2012
    • HIGH DEMAND FOR MOBILE BROADBAND
    • MOBILE BROADBAND - KILLER APP FOR FTTH
    • WATCH OUT FOR THE NEXTWIFI WAVE
    • SPECTRUM KEY TO BROADBAND UTILITY
    • OVERVIEW OF TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
      • Mobile broadband
      • Mobile subscribers
        • Table Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change - 2010 - 2012
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 2010 - 2013
      • Network termination rates lowered may drive mobile competition
    • SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS
    • MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS - REVENUE OVERVIEW AND STATISTICS
  • STATISTICAL OVERVIEW AND FORECASTS
    • MARKET OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS
      • Growth slowly tapering off
      • Infrastructure to drive further expansion
      • Applications drive the market
      • Spectrum shortage
      • Mobile broadband revolution set to change the industry
      • Hardware drives applications
      • Mobile broadband to drive structural change
      • User prices remain high
      • Use of Unified Communications increasing
      • Smartphones driving data usage
    • WIRELESS BROADBAND MARKET STATISTICS
      • Table Wireless broadband subscribers by access type and annual change - 2007 - 2012
      • Table 3G mobile broadband subscribers by mobile network operator - 2007 - 2012
      • Table Estimated mobile broadband data downloaded in Petabytes - 2007 - 2012; 2015
      • Table Estimated mobile broadband revenues and annual change - 2007 - 2012
      • Table Mobile broadband monthly ARPU - 2007 - 2012
      • Mobile broadband market
        • Table Estimated mobile data revenue revenues by mobile network operator - 2008 - 2012
      • Fixed wireless broadband market
        • Table Fixed wireless broadband subscribers by major operator - 2008 - 2012
        • Table WiFi hotspots at its peak in the late 2000s
    • FORECASTS AND OTHER DEVELOPMENTS
      • Watch out for the next WiFi wave
      • Mobile broadband boom the killer app FttH
      • 4G Wireless National Broadband Network (NBN) for regional Australia
      • Fixed/mobile call market
      • Revenue forecasts
        • Table Forecast mobile broadband and voice revenues - 2008; 2013; 2018
  • SPECTRUM KEY TO BROADBAND UTILITY
    • INTRODUCTION
    • CITY/SLUM DEVELOPMENTS IN EMERGING ECONOMIES
      • Mobile broadband boosting rural economies
    • MOBILE BROADBAND IS NATIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE (NOT JUST TELECOMS)
      • Spectrum key to social and economic development
    • SPECTRUM HARMONISATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE-SHARING
    • MOBILE BROADBAND WILL STIMULATE INVESTMENTS IN FIBRE NETWORKS
    • COMPETITION ISSUE
    • A COMPREHENSIVE INFRASTRUCTURE PLAN IS ESSENTIAL
  • NATIONAL BROADBAND NETWORK - FIXED WIRELESS AND SATELLITE
    • INTRODUCTION
    • NBN CO'S FIXED WIRELESS NETWORK
      • NBN Co buys spectrum from Austar
      • Construction plan
      • Visionstream to construct the network
      • NBN facilitates wireless competition
      • Fixed wireless rollouts
      • Other developments
    • THE NBN SATELLITE NETWORK
      • Introduction
      • Ka-band satelittes
      • Satellite speeds
      • Interim regional and remote satellite services
      • Ground station gateways
    • ANALYSES
      • Why wireless broadband is no alternative to FttH
  • HSPA AND LTE DEVELOPMENTS
    • HIGH-SPEED MOBILE NETWORKS
      • High-speed packet access (HSPA)
        • Table Average 3G mobile broadband speed data in Australia - 2008 - 2012
      • Long-term evolution (LTE)
        • Table Average 4G mobile broadband speed data in Australia - 2010 - 2012
    • AUSTRALIAN MOBILE BROADBAND OPERATORS
      • Optus
      • Telstra
      • Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
    • MOBILE BROADBAND MARKET
      • Overview and analysis
      • Data growth
      • Mobile industry gets some spectrum certainty
      • Neutral broadband connections for HSDPA
    • MOBILE BROADBAND
      • Applications overview
  • SURVEYS AND STATISTICS
    • INTRODUCTION
    • TELSTRA SURVEYS
      • The Grey Nomads and downagers are technology troopers
      • Increased demand for mobile working
    • AUSTRALIAN MOBILE PHONE LIFESTYLE INDEX
      • Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) - 7th survey - 2011
      • Mobile phones and operators
      • Mobile phone usage
      • Smartphone users use more email and data
      • Content and services accessed - 2010 - 2011
      • Information services
      • Advertising on the mobile phone
      • M-commerce
    • MOBILE DATA USAGE INCREASING OVERALL
    • SMARTPHONES ARE INCREASING TAKEUP OF MEDIA SERVICES
    • SPEEDS INCREASING ONLY SLIGHTLY BY 2012
    • REVENUE STATISTICS
      • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
        • Table Telstra average mobile broadband revenue per user per month - 2008 - 2012
        • Table Blended mobile data ARPU per customer by operator - 2010 - 2011
      • Mobile data revenue
        • Table Estimated mobile data revenue by operator - 2009 - 2011
        • Table Overall estimated total mobile data revenue - 2008 - 2013
  • MOBILE MEDIA MARKET
    • MAJOR PROVIDERS
      • Mobile operators
      • Service providers
        • Table Mobile Embrace key financial statistics - 2010 - 2011
        • Table MOKO.mobi at a glance - 2011
        • Table Mobi.moki key financial statistics - 2010 - 2011
        • Table Enero at a glance - 2012
        • Table Enero (Photon Group) - key financial parameters - 2010 - 2011
        • Table Enero (Photon Group) - key financial parameters - H12011 - H12012
        • Table Be.interactive clients and partners
    • PSMS PORTALS AND APPS
      • The market in 2012
      • Previous analyses (updated in 2011)
      • Smart phone apps market
        • Table App usage download by selected demographic - 2010 - 2011
        • Table App usage by mobile brand - 2011
        • Table Estimated app usage by selected demographic - 2011
        • Table Estimated app market revenue - 2009 - 2015
        • Table Users who pay for mobile applications by app type - 2010 - 2011
      • Consumer protection
        • Table Mobile premium service complaints by major provider - 2010 - 2011
      • Key players in the premium rate SMS (PSMS) market
      • PSMS revenues
        • Table Estimated revenues - PSMS market - 2004 - 2012
    • MOBILE TV
      • What is mobile TV?
      • Market overview and analysis
      • Cloud-based mobile TV
      • Major players
      • Regulation
      • Technology platforms
        • Table Examples of Mobile TV technologies
        • Table Broadcast Australia DVB-H trials - 2005 - 2009
    • SMS - OVERVIEW &STATISTICS
      • Background information
      • SMS market overview
      • Overview of SMS services in Australia
      • Usage statistics
        • Table Cost of sending a standard SMS by mobile network operator - 2012
        • Table MMS and SMS numbers SMS sent - 2008 - 2011
        • Table Estimated numbers of SMS sent - 2003 - 2012
        • Table Number of Telstra sent SMSs - 2005 - 2012
        • Table The decline in SMS data revenues - 2008 - 2011
  • M-COMMERCE DEVELOPMENTS AND PROJECTS
    • OVERVIEW AND ANALYSIS OF M-COMMERCE IN AUSTRALIA
      • Introduction
      • Only small usage takeup
      • Impacting issues
      • Testing the models
      • Closed systems
      • Research indicates consumers wary of telcos for payment options
      • Apps need m-payments
    • M-PAYMENT PROJECTS AND SERVICES
      • mHITs
      • Near Field Communications (NFC) overview
      • Contactless payments
    • MOBILE BANKING (M-BANKING)
      • Trends and Developments in mobile payments - 2012
        • Table How appealing are contactless payments - 2011 -2012
        • Table Popularity of contactless payments using smartphones- 2011 -2012
      • M-banking overview
      • Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
      • Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ)
      • NAB
      • Westpac
      • Public transport
    • OTHER M-COMMERCE DEVELOPMENTS
      • Background information
      • e-Insurance
      • SMS m-commerce
  • HANDSET MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW - MID-2012
      • Trends in mobile handset market
      • Service provider-driven market
      • Replacement market
      • Android sales overtake iPhone but ARPU went down in 2011
      • Smartphone app gives shoppers access to great deals
    • PREDICTIONS TOWARDS 2013 AND BEYOND
      • Smartphone uptake passes the tipping point
      • Smartphones driving data usage
      • Tablets
    • HANDSET STATISTICS
      • Shipments
        • Table Australian handset shipments - 2004 - 2012
        • Table Seasonal comparison - Australian shipments per quarter - 2004 - 2011
        • Table Seasonal comparison - Australian shipments per quarter as a proportion of annual shipments - 2004 - 2011
        • Table Change in Australian shipments per quarter - seasonally adjusted - 2005 - 2011
      • Handset recycling
        • Table Key recycling indicators - Mobile Muster - 2006 - 2012
      • Handset supplier market shares
        • Table Estimated Australian handset supplier market share - major suppliers - 2008 - 2011
        • Table Australian 3G handset market - by major operator - 2008 - 2010
    • ANALYSIS
      • Overview
      • Apple and Google - hijacking the mobile operators
      • Mobile vendors set to lose the proprietary battle
      • Mid-tier mobile phones to decline
        • Table Low-end, mid-tier and high-end mobile device markets - percentage of units sold - 2007; 2013.
      • Rise of smartphones
    • MARKET SURVEYS
      • Overview
      • Smartphones lead to higher data spend
        • Table Payment plan data - 2009 - 2011
        • Table Sale percentage of paid-for applications - 2010 -2011
        • Table Typical weekly usage pattern of a smartphone user - 2009 - 2011
      • Smartphone users are action buyers
      • Tablet uptake and usage increases
      • Phone usage for no phone activities increasing
      • Smartphone users are increasing
      • iPhone takes out top spot globally
        • Table Customer loyalty with phone OS - % likely to stay with their existing operating\ system for next phone purchase
        • Table Use of advanced phone features - % of mobile users who access rich media and other smartphone features
      • Smartphone usage
        • Table Smartphone usage by children in Australia - 2009
        • Table Smartphone users accessing the internet - 2009 - 2011
      • Smartphones and internet usage
        • Table Smartphone use of the internet - 2010 - 2011
    • SAFETY AND SECURITY ISSUES
      • Cyber bullying and use of mobile phones by children
      • Children and the internet
      • Mobile security
      • Mobile phones - malware, trojans and viruses
  • GLOSSARY OF ABBREVIATIONS

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