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Australia - Mobile Communications - Operator Analyses and Industry Overview

Australia - Mobile Communications - Operator Analyses and Industry Overview

The Australian mobile market is dominated by the three major mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone (VHA), though there are numerous MVNOs which have a significant market share. These have been able to offer LTE services on a wholesale basis since early 2016, thus encouraging growth in the LTE sector and cementing the role which MVNOs play in the overall market.

Operators provide a full range of services essential for commerce as well as communication and social networking. Voice services remain a staple for revenue, though in terms of revenue share voice is steadily losing ground to various forms of mobile data. Data services themselves have evolved from basic SMS messaging to encompass high-end applications including gaming and m-commerce. Although mobile penetration was about 143% at the close of 2016, it continues to rise as users make use of multiple SIM cards and connected devices. Under competitive pressure, MNOs must find innovative business models and services, and provide attractive bundles to increase revenue.

Mobile broadband usage in particular has taken off during the last few years, a trend which will continue in the wake of the marketing of a wide range of affordable and more capable devices, and of LTE population coverage which by the end of 2016 had reached about 98%.

To address poor services in rural areas, the government in June 2015 announced the first of two Mobile Black Spot Programs, funded by the federal and state governments as well as by the two commissioned MNOs Telstra and Vodafone. Deployment for the second round will start in 2017, and the work to deploy several hundred new or upgraded base stations is expected to be completed by 2018.

This report evaluates the strategies and performances of network operators, including up to date financial and operational data. It also reviews the main MVNOs and MVNEs, and presents an industry overview as well as data and analysis on the trends and key developments in these maturing markets.

Key developments:

Details of Round 2 Black Spot Program; Aldi Mobile upgrades its service offering; MeU Mobile enters the MVNO market; analysis on mobile user productivity; Vodafone switches LTE data traffic to new core network, reports growth in revenue and subscribers into 2016; updates on 2G, 3G, LTE, WCDMA, HSDPA and HSUPA technologies; high churn rate favouring MVNOs with sound business models; MNOs launch VoLTE services; Telstra commits to $5 billion mobile spend over three years; telcos' financial and operating updates to September 2016; recent market developments and analyses.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MeU Mobile; Amaysim, Woolworths, Crazy Johns, JB HiFi, Telstra, Optus, VHA, Hutchison Australia, 3, NBN, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, Aldi Mobile; Huawei, Lebara, AAPT, Kogan Mobile, GRLmobile, Red Bull Mobile, Macquarie Telecom, Boost Tel, Pivotel, Globalstar.

1. Synopsis
2. Industry overview
2.1 Background information
2.2 Subscriber statistics
2.3 Intensifying market competition
2.4 Mobile coverage black spots
2.5 Roaming
2.6 NBN as backhaul
2.7 Mobile technology boosts productivity
2.8 Cutting the fixed-line cord
2.9 Data mining the next driver of mobile revenue
3. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
3.1 Telstra
3.1.1 Overview
3.1.2 Network speed, coverage and services
3.2 Optus
3.2.1 Overview
3.2.2 Network speeds and coverage
3.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
3.3.1 Overview
4. Network technologies
4.1 HSPA-based services
4.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
4.3 2G services
5. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
5.1 Background on the MVNO sector
5.2 Market overview
5.3 Other developments in the MVNO market
5.4 Amaysim
5.5 Red Bull Mobile
5.6 Kogan Mobile
5.7 Aldi Mobile
5.8 Lebara Mobile
5.9 Macquarie Telecom
5.10 Virgin Mobile
5.11 Woolworths Mobile
5.12 MeU Mobile
6. Mobile resellers
6.1 Background information
6.2 Resellers on the Telstra network
6.3 Resellers on the Optus network
6.4 Resellers on the Vodafone network
7. Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
7.1 Background information
7.2 Pivotel
7.2.1 Satellite services
7.2.2 PT. Pivotel Amalgam Indonesia
7.2.3 Cellular Mobile Services
7.3 M2 Telecommunications Group (separate report)
8. Mobile retailers (separate report)
9. Related reports
Table 1 GSMA mobile connectivity markers (top five countries) 2016
Table 2 Mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2000 - 2017
Table 3 Total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2010 2016
Table 4 Mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO 2009 2014
Table 5 Mobile-only phone users 2010 - 2016
Table 6 Telstra - overview of mobile subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 7 Optus revenue 2012 - 2017
Table 8 Optus mobile revenue 2013 - 2017
Table 9 Optus mobile pre/postpaid customers 2008 - 2016
Table 10 Optus mobile broadband customers 2013 - 2015
Table 11 VHA financial data 2014 2016
Table 12 VHA subscribers by type 2009 2016
Table 13 VHA MVNO customers 2014 2016
Table 14 Mobile subscribers share by MNO and MVNO 2013 2015
Chart 1 Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2005 - 2017
Chart 2 Mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO 2010 2016
Chart 3 Optus mobile pre/postpaid customers 2008 2016
Exhibit 1 The initial analogue operators brief historic background
Exhibit 2 MVNO models
Exhibit 3 MVNO opportunities
Exhibit 4 Examples of key MVNO customer segments
Exhibit 5 Mobile carriers and selected resellers and MVNEs
Exhibit 6 An overview of Boost Tel

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