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Australia - Mobile Broadband Market - Services and Apps

Australia - Mobile Broadband Market - Services and Apps

Australia’s MVNOs now accessing the world’s fastest LTE networks

The three LTE networks operated by Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have been developed rapidly during the past two years. These MNOs are striving to provide an infrastructure capable of meeting customer demand for mobile broadband services, and are also preparing for the possibilities anticipated through the deployment of 5G within the next few years. Telstra continues to be a global leader in mobile services, being a partner with Ericsson in developing 5G. The two companies have demonstrated 1Gb/s capabilities over a commercial LTE network using carrier aggregation technology, and will use the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Queensland to trial a range of technologies. Increasingly in an era leaning further to mobile data than voice, these networks must offer sufficient performance for customers. These developments have propelled Australia in global league tables, with the country having recorded the fastest peak mobile broadband speeds globally.

Optus and Telstra have been able to utilise their 700MHz spectrum assets since early 2015, with which they aim to provide about 98% population coverage by the end of 2016. Vodafone is relying on upgrades to its existing concessions, and provides about 95% coverage in metro areas. The auction of unused spectrum in the 1800MHz band in February 2016 will further improve the ability of MNOs to extend their LTE services. As a result of these developments the mobile market has seen a steady migration of subscribers from 3G to LTE.

Upgraded networks face daunting data demands from customers, many of whom make use of data-intensive graphics, videos and files shared across the networks. In addition, popular OTT services such as Netflix, a company which alone had attracted about five million customers by June 2016, provide streaming of content over mobile devices. While networks can at times be strained, the MNOs are continually adding capabilities and applications in an effort to reduce their overall costings. Customer preference for Wi-Fi from homes and workplaces has meant that mobile broadband traffic is largely offloaded to fixed-line infrastructure. Given that about 90% of all mobile device sales are now smartphones, the growth in mobile data traffic is increasing rapidly. In the year to December 2015 mobile data traffic grew 21% year-on-year.

The market among providers has seen some changes over the last few years as company mergers and acquisitions bring consolidation to the industry. The major mobile media players are becoming digital media providers as they provide access to their services via mobile devices.

While the SMS service remains popular there is also increasing competition from OTT services such as WhatsApp, Skype, Viber and built-in messaging services from the likes of Facebook and other social media providers. The preponderance of bundled plans which include a large number of texts and voice minutes has also helped to retain the popularity of messaging, though at the expense of SMS revenue for operators.

This report provides an overview of the mobile broadband market in Australia and analyses key market trends. It includes updated statistics, industry estimates and forecasts as well as data and developments involving the major mobile media providers and mobile content services. Also included is information from the ACMA’s 2015 report on mobile broadband productivity.

Key developments:

Australia rated with the highest mobile broadband speed globally;
Comms Alliance calls for flexibility in spectrum management;
Growing number of MVNOs offering LTE services;
Telstra and Ericsson to use Commonwealth Games to trial 5G capabilities;
Telstra launches five-band carrier aggregation;
Mobile data traffic expected to grow six-fold to 2018;
Optus and Telstra aiming for 98.5% population coverage with LTE by end-2016;
Mobile broadband a significant contributor to economic growth;
Spectrum auction in the 1800MHz band;
Report update includes telcos’ operating data to Q1 2016, ACMA market report 2015, TIO’s 2015 annual report; Sensis survey 2015, ABS data to December 2015, Akamai broadband survey data to Q4 2015, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

VHA, Vodafone, 3, Optus, Huawei, Telstra, Vividwireless, Ericsson, EnergyAustralia, SingTel, Unwired, SingTel, Vodafone, 3, VHA, Optus, Telstra, BigAir, vividwireless, Unwired, nbn (NBN Co), TPG.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • MARKET ANALYSES
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
    • UPTAKE IN LTE ADDS TO MOBILE BROADBAND USERS
    • MOBILE DATA AND MESSAGING EXCEEDS VOICE REVENUES
    • GLOBALGIG HOTSPOT LOCAL AND INTERNATIONAL DATA ROAMING
    • OVERVIEW OF 4G FREQUENCY USAGE
    • SPECTRUM REALLOCATIONS
      • 1800MHz
        • Table 1800MHz auction results - February 2016
    • HARDWARE DRIVES APPLICATIONS
    • MOBILE BROADBAND TO DRIVE STRUCTURAL CHANGE
    • MOBILE BROADBAND SLOWLY SUBSTITUTES FIXED SERVICES
    • THE ECONOMIC IMPACT OF MOBILE BROADBAND
    • MOBILE BROADBAND MARKET STATISTICS
      • Mobile broadband subscribers
        • Table Wireless broadband subscribers by access type - 2009 - 2015
        • Table Mobile broadband subscribers by mobile network operator - 2007 - 2015
        • Table Estimated mobile broadband data downloaded in Petabytes - 2007 - 2015
      • Fixed wireless broadband market
        • Table Fixed wireless broadband subscribers - 2010 - 2016
  • LTE AND 5G DEVELOPMENTS
    • HIGH-SPEED MOBILE NETWORKS
      • High-speed packet access (HSPA)
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table Average LTE speed by MNO - 2012 - 2015
      • VoLTE
      • Moving from 4G to 5G
      • 5G developments
    • MOBILE BROADBAND OPERATORS
      • Optus
      • Telstra
        • Table Telstra LTE data cards in service - 2010 - 2015
      • Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
    • MOBILE BROADBAND MARKET
      • Overview and analysis
      • Data growth
      • Mobile industry gets some spectrum certainty
      • Neutral broadband connections for HSPA
      • Will LTE steal the broadband revolution?
      • Applications overview
      • Government moving to mobile engagement
      • Mobile video failing to make traction with LTE
  • MOBILE MEDIA
    • MARKET AND INDUSTRY - SURVEYS AND STATISTICS
      • Introduction
      • Recent surveys
      • Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index
        • Table Preferred device for engagement, by activity - 2014
        • Table Preferred device for accessing the internet - 2013 - 2015
        • Table Customer satisfaction with mobile provider services - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Mobile phone brand ownership - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Use of mobile phones by service - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Data included in monthly plans - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Use of mobile phones by service - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Use of information services - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Tablet use of services - 2012 - 2013
      • Mobile data observations
        • Table Mobile data downloaded versus mobile subscribers - 2012 - 2015
        • Table Telstra mobile ARPU - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Telstra mobile prepaid and postpaid revenue - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Optus mobile revenue - 2013 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone Australia revenue - 2009 - 2015
        • Table HTA key metrics - financial overview - 2009 - 2015
    • OVERVIEW OF KEY PROVIDERS
      • Mobile operators
        • Table Telstra SMS traffic - 2009 - 2016
      • Service providers
        • Table Mobile Embrace key financial performance indicators - 2010 - 2016
        • Table MOKO.mobi at a glance - 2016
        • Table Overview of MOKO.mobi subsidiary companies - 2016
        • Table MOKO financial data - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Enero at a glance - 2016
        • Table Enero (Photon Group) - key financial parameters - 2010 - 2015
    • MOBILE VIDEO STREAMING
      • What is mobile video steaming?
      • Market overview and analysis
      • Cloud-based mobile streaming
      • Major players
      • Regulation
      • Technology platforms
        • Table Broadcast Australia DVB-H trials - 2005 - 2009
    • DIGITAL ECONOMY - FINANCIAL SERVICES
      • The banking sector
      • Trends and Developments
      • Market Analyses
      • Trends and developments in mobile payments
        • Table Rapid uptake - September 2011 - March 2014
      • Bitcoin
      • Projects and Services
      • Disrupting the insurance sector
    • SMS - OVERVIEW AND STATISTICS
      • Background information on SMS
      • Regulatory measures
      • SMS market overview
      • Overview of SMS services in Australia
      • Usage statistics
        • Table Estimated numbers of SMS sent - 2003 - 2016
        • Table Number of Telstra sent SMSs - 2005 - 2016
        • Table Proportion of mobile subscribers using SMS and IM services - 2011 - 2015
  • SMARTPHONE, TABLETS AND HANDSET MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Trends in mobile handset market
        • Table Proportion of people using smartphones for internet access - 2012 - 2016
      • 4G market continues to grow
        • Table 4G subscribers by MNO - 2012 - 2015
      • Telstra's T-Hub 2 - moving fixed-line customers to the future NBN
    • PREDICTIONS INTO 2017 AND BEYOND
      • Smartphone data usage increasing
        • Table Internet connections via mobile handsets - 2011 - 2015
      • Tablets and e-readers
    • SMARTPHONE, TABLET AND HANDSET STATISTICS
      • Shipments
        • Table Australian handset shipments (historic) - 2004 - 2009
        • Table Australian handset shipments - 2010 - 2015
      • Handset recycling
        • Table Key recycling indicators - Mobile Muster - 2006 - 2014
      • Handset supplier market shares
        • Table Australian handset brand market share - major suppliers - 2008 - 2014
      • Smartphones and internet usage
        • Table Top 5 uses of mobile internet - 2009 - 2014
      • Tablet sales falling
        • Table Estimated tablet users - 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
        • Table Tablet market share by manufacturer - 2014 - 2015
      • Smartwatch market
    • MARKET SURVEYS
      • Overview
      • Smartphones lead to higher data spend
        • Table Apps info and payment plan data - 2009 - 2014
        • Table Monthly phone spend on services - 2010 - 2014
        • Table Types of use on smartphones - 2012 - 2014
      • Smartphone users are action buyers
        • Table Smartphone and tablet use of services - 2014
        • Table Typical selected usage pattern of a smartphone user - 2011 - 2014
      • Tablet usage strong but sales decline
        • Table Typical selected usage pattern of a tablet user - 2012 - 2013
      • Android remains the favoured operating system
        • Table Estimated Australian platform market share - 2008 - 2016
      • Enterprise mobility market increasing in value
    • THE FUTURE OF THE SMARTPHONE MARKET
      • Hardware becomes a utility platform
      • Platform for innovation and industry transformation
      • Breaking into new markets
      • Who will dominate the Wi-Fi market?
      • Conclusion
    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

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