In 2011 the mobile communications market in Australia, as in other developed economies, will see a further shift in emphasis from voice to more data-orientated services, driven by more new handsets and applications. Penetration has outstripped the size of the market which indicates that people are increasingly using multiple services and multiple devices.
While voice is still the dominant mobile service in Australia, mobile data has steadily become more popular, spurred on by the advent of smartphones from vendors like Apple and RIM, which facilitate a wide range of data applications and services. However the winner in 2011 will be the handsets based on Google’s Android operating system. No longer held back by the mobile operators, mobile broadband growth has been extremely rapid since late 2007 and this will also be the main feature of 2011.
Total mobile services revenue is expected to grow to above $15 billion in 2011, representing a growth rate of around 10%.
Competition is set to intensify between mobile operators, resulting in lower mobile call charges for customers. Telstra has indicated that the gloves are off and that it will vigorously defend its position in the market.
This will most likely produce a continued decrease in mobile prices. Furthermore, more customers will reduce their use of fixed-line voice and data services in favour of mobile services.
However over the next five years competition and commoditisation will lead to lower ARPUs.