The number of subscribers to the three LTE networks operated by Optus, Telstra and Vodafone has grown rapidly over the last two years. Technological developments have also progressed, with Telstra proving its market lead, showcasing 450Mb/s capabilities for LTE in May 2014 by combining three channels. Vodafone's 1800MHz assets has led the company to emphasise the potential fast data downloads available on its network, though it will be at a disadvantage when Telstra and Optus begin to make use of their 700MHz concessions from early 2015. As services improve in coverage and capability the market will see a steady migration of subscribers from 3G to 4G networks.
These networks face daunting data demands from customers, many of whom make use of data-intensive graphics, videos and files shared across the networks from devices and from popular social network sites such as Facebook. While networks can at times be strained, the MNOs are continually adding capabilities to their networks and applications in an effort to reduce their overall costings. Customer preference for WiFi from homes and workplaces has meant that mobile broadband growth is mainly is this segment, with growth from dedicated data cards being only 3% in 2013, year-on-year.
This report provides some background information on a range of mobile technologies, as well as commentary and analysis the networks in Australia. It also assesses the prospects for operators as they extend their LTE deployments beyond the major urban areas and deeper into country Australia. The report contains a range of valuable key statistics on network data throughput, operator strategies and emerging technologies.
Telstra contracts Ericsson to develop road-map to 5G; Google's Project Loon teams up with Telstra to trial LTE; mobile data traffic expected to grow six-fold to 2018; Telstra to close 2G network by 2016, trials LTE-A carrier aggregation technology providing data at up to 450Mb/s, launches 4GX network marketing for 700MHz LTE services; Vodafone re-allocates existing 850MHz spectrum for LTE; Vodafone to trial VoLTE with a view to a 2015 commercial launch; Optus aiming for 98.5% population coverage with LTE by end-2016; Vodafone LTE progressing, with strong customer growth following Double Data offer; iiNet initiates LTE mobile plans; government encourages public engagement through mobile platform; WiFi tethering among customers holds back growth in dedicated mobile broadband data cards; report includes recent market developments.