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Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics and Forecasts

Mobile operators face stagnating revenues in a booming mobile broadband market

The Market in 2013

The mobile communications market in Australia has seen considerable activity in the last year from the mobile network operators, with some of the results of that activity still to come to fruition. Yet some of the forces that are driving change in the mobile sector, such as consumer demand, market saturation and the offering of faster-speed technologies in the fixed- broadband market, are also driving down revenue and ARPU for operators.

Although mobile penetration is now above 130%, and continues to rise as users make use of multiple SIMs and connected devices, Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) must find innovative business models and provide attractive services and bundles to increase revenues in this competitive market.

Previously the MNOs had a hold on the apps and portals market, but with the increased use of over-the-top applications the mobile industry has become a facilitator for broadband infrastructure. This has created a new growth area in the industry, which is based more on infrastructure than on apps or services.

As a consequence of the mobile handset market being driven by the consumer take-up of smartphones and similar devices, mobile broadband usage is also growing strongly. In addition, the growth in the availability and adoption of over-the-top applications are depriving the MNOs of their traditional income streams. Although total mobile services revenue is expected to have grown to nearly $18 billion in 2012, the introduction of reduced network termination rates, coupled with lower costs for monthly mobile broadband packages, means that revenue growth will slow in coming years, reaching perhaps $18.8 billion by 2014. Much of this limited growth will be derived from opportunities available from the nascent LTE sector. Telstra was the first operator to release devices for its LTE service, and has since been joined by both Vodafone and Optus.

One of the key issues for the industry moving beyond 2015 is the desperate need for more spectrum, in order to keep up with the demand for mobile broadband services.

Subscriber and Revenue Statistics

Overall mobile services revenue growth by the MNOs over the last financial year has fallen year-on-year. We should expect to see slower revenue growth from Telstra and Optus into 2014, with revenue again negative for Vodafone. While the issues that saw Vodafone revenues slide are unique, the company will continue to be affected by the loss of subscribers, price competitiveness and the cost of investing in infrastructure as it struggles to compete in the LTE-arena.

BuddeComm expects that revenue from MNOs will show only 2% growth rate year-on-year to 2014. Future revenue growth will be impacted by increased activity from some MVNOs and by tactics deployed to make greater use of upgraded networks.

For the MNOs, the results of the latest financial year are mixed, with Optus (to March 2013) reporting a 2% growth, Telstra showing a 10% growth and VHA, the entity created with the merger of Vodafone and Hutchison, continued to experience steep revenue declines on the back of customer disaffection with service offerings. This report provides analysis of high-level revenue, market shares and revenue growth, as well as revenue earned from mobile voice and mobile data services. In addition, the report includes additional statistical data relating to prepaid and postpaid revenue and average revenue per user (ARPU) for selected mobile voice and data services.

The number of mobile subscribers continues to grow steadily, and by mid-2013 mobile penetration had reached more than 130%. This reflects population growth as well as the significant proportion of subscribers who make use of multiple phones or SIM cards, often to separate personal from business use. While growth is likely to continue in the next few years as subscriber adoption of smartphones escalates, this will slow in line with higher penetration, to about 2% into 2014.

Network operators can also expect to benefit from further migration among consumers from fixed-line to mobile telecoms.

Telstra remains the market leader with more than 14 million subscribers, Optus has around 9.5 million subscribers, and Vodafone has seen subscriber number fall to just over three million.

This report provides operator statistics for the financial year to March 2013 as well as high-level commentary on the overall market, market shares by operator and details of the 2G, 3G and 4G environments. It also assesses the market share of the prepaid and postpaid segments and reviews the wholesale market.

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 2013
    • MARKET AND INDUSTRY ANALYSES
      • Strong mobile competition
      • Competition moving forwards
      • Only structural change can save the mobile industry
      • High demand for mobile broadband
      • Mobile broadband - killer app for FttH
      • Watch out for the next WiFi wave
      • Spectrum key to broadband utility
      • Consumers ditching fixed-line for mobile
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS OVERVIEW
      • Telstra
      • Optus
      • Vodafone
    • OVERVIEW OF TRENDS AND DEVELOPMENTS
      • Mobile broadband
        • Table Mobile broadband monthly ARPU - 2010 - 2013
        • Table Estimated mobile broadband revenues and annual change - 2010 - 2013
      • Mobile subscribers
        • Table Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change - 2010 - 2013
      • Mobile voice
        • Table Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 2010 - 2013
      • Network termination rates lowered may drive mobile competition
  • INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
    • BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    • MOBILE COVERAGE REMAINS MAJOR PROBLEM FOR THE REGION
    • CONSUMER RIP-OFF STOPS WITH NEW TELECOMMUNICATIONS CONSUMER PROTECTION CODE
    • MOBILE CALLING PLAN STANDARDISATION A START TO A CLEARER CHOICE
    • ROAMING
    • MOBILE CHURN
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS (MNOS)
      • Telstra
      • SingTel Optus
      • Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
    • NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES
      • HSPA-based services
      • Long-term evolution (LTE)
      • 2G services (historic)
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
      • Background MVNO information
      • Market overview
      • Other developments in the MVNO market
      • Amaysim
      • Red Bull Mobile
      • Kogan Mobile
        • Table Overview of Kogan Mobile prepaid plans - December 2012
      • Lebara Mobile
      • Macquarie Telecom
      • Virgin Mobile
      • Woolworths Mobile
    • MOBILE RESELLERS
      • Background information
      • Resellers on the Telstra network
      • Resellers on the Optus network
      • Resellers on the Vodafone network
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK ENABLERS (MVNES)
      • Background information
      • Pivotel
        • Table Pivotel Globalstar satellite data costs - July 2012
      • M2 Telecommunications Group
  • REVENUE OVERVIEW AND STATISTICS
    • STATISTICAL SOURCES
    • TOTAL MOBILE SERVICES REVENUE AND FORECASTS
      • Overview of current year
      • Moving towards 2014
        • Table Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 1993 - 2014
    • OPERATOR REVENUE STATISTICS OVERVIEW
      • Background
      • Revenue per major operator
        • Table Mobile market revenue per major operator - 1993 - 2014
      • Revenue growth
        • Table Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator - 1994; 1997; 2000 - 2014
      • Revenue share
        • Table Annual change of mobile market share per major operator - 2000 - 2014
      • Revenue by service
        • Table Estimated proportion of mobile service revenue from voice services - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Total mobile voice revenue per major operator - 2007 - 2014
        • Table Mobile voice revenue per major operator as a proportion of total mobile services
        • Table Mobile data revenue per major operator - 2007 - 2013
        • Table Annual change in data revenue per major operator as a proportion of total mobile services revenue - 2008 - 2013
    • AVERAGE REVENUE PER USER (ARPU)
      • Overview of ARPU
      • Blended ARPU
        • Table Blended monthly ARPU by MNO - 2000 - 2013
        • Table Annual change in blended monthly ARPU by MNO - 2004 - 2013
      • Historic ARPU statistics
        • Table Postpaid ARPU per month - Telstra, Optus and Vodafone - 2004 - 2010
        • Table Mobile data ARPU per month - Telstra versus Hutchison - 2004 - 2010
  • SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS
    • STATISTICAL SOURCES
    • MOBILE SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS
      • Total subscribers and annual growth rates
        • Table Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change - 2000 - 2013
      • Operator market shares and growth
        • Table Mobile subscribers by carrier - 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2013
        • Table Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier - 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2013
        • Table Mobile subscriber acquisition cost by carrier - 2009 - 2012
        • Table Annual change in mobile subscriber acquisition cost by carrier - 2009 - 2012
        • Table Mobile subscriber market share by carrier - 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2013
      • 2G, 3G and 4G subscribers
        • Table 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2003 - 2012
        • Table Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2007 - 2012
        • Table Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2012
        • Table 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2012
        • Table Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2012
      • Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator
        • Table Prepaid subscribers by mobile network operator - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Prepaid subscribers market share by mobile network operator - 2006 - 2013
        • Table Number of mobile phone services in operation - prepaid and postpaid - 2006 - 2013
      • Wholesale market
        • Table Wholesale subscribers - Telstra versus Optus - 2006 - 2013
  • RETAIL MARKET
    • AN OVERVIEW OF THE MOBILE RETAIL MARKET IN 2012
      • Major retail categories
      • Retail margins
      • Retail revenues
      • Consolidation
      • The move from prepaid to postpaid
      • Superior customer care to come from a new TCP Code
      • Mobile calling plan standardisation a start to a clearer choice
      • Replacement market
        • Table Estimated number of outlets and market share of leading retailers - 2011 - 2012
        • Table Selected retailers - number of outlets by state - mid-2012
    • MAJOR MOBILE RETAIL COMPANIES
      • Background information
      • Vertically integrated operators
      • Independents retailing services exclusively for mobile operators
      • Independents retailing services for a variety of network operators
  • 3G INFRASTRUCTURE
    • BACKGROUND INFORMATION
    • NETWORK OPERATORS
      • Telstra
      • Optus
      • VHA
    • MOBILE SITES INFRASTRUCTURE
      • Overview and statistics
        • Table Mobile base stations - 2009; 2011 - 2012
      • Crown Castle
        • Table Crown Castle mobile tower acquisitions - 2000 - 2012
    • INFRASTRUCTURE ANALYSIS
      • Structural separation and open networks
      • Squeezed out of the content markets
      • Mobile broadband market
  • SPECTRUM AUCTIONS AND OVERVIEW
    • DIGITAL DIVIDEND AUCTION - 2013
      • 700MHz and 2.5GHz spectrum
      • Competition limits
      • Price of spectrum
      • Combinatorial Clock Auction (CCA) of 700MHz and 2.5GHz band
      • CCA auction in 2013 with spectrum to use in 2015
      • Auction Results
  • SMARTPHONES, TABLETS AND HANDSET MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW - MID-2013
      • Trends in mobile handset market
      • 4G market increasing
      • Telstra's T-Hub 2 - moving fixed-line customers to the future NBN
    • PREDICTIONS INTO 2013 AND BEYOND
      • Smartphone data usage to increase
      • Online usage
        • Table Internet connections via mobile handsets - 2009 - 2013
      • Tablets and e-readers
    • SMARTPHONE, TABLET AND HANDSET STATISTICS
      • Shipments
        • Table Australian handset shipments - 2009 - 2013
        • Table Australian handset shipments (historic) - 2004 - 2008
      • Handset recycling
        • Table Key recycling indicators - Mobile Muster - 2006 - 2013
      • Handset supplier market shares
        • Table Estimated Australian handset supplier market share - major suppliers - 2008 - 2012
        • Table Australian 3G handset market (historic) - by major operator - 2008 - 2010
        • Table Use of advanced phone features - % of mobile users who access rich media and other smartphone features
      • Smartphones and internet usage
        • Table Smartphone use of the internet - 2010 - 2011
      • Tablet uptake increasing
        • Table Estimated tablet users - 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
    • ANALYSIS
      • 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.
    • MARKET SURVEYS
      • Overview
      • Smartphones lead to higher data spend
        • Table Apps info and payment plan data - 2009 - 2012
        • Table Sale percentage of mobile apps that are purchased on a smartphone - 2010 - 2012
      • Tablet usage
        • Table Typical selected usage pattern of a tablet user - 2012
      • Smartphone users are action buyers
      • Tablet uptake and usage increases
      • Phone usage for no phone activities increasing
    • 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 WiFi market?
      • Conclusion
  • MOBILE SATELLITE SERVICES
    • INTRODUCTION
    • SECOND GENERATION SATELLITES WITH GLOBALSTAR TO BENEFIT RURAL AUSTRALIANS
    • TWITTER ON SATELLITE PHONES
    • PUBLIC SUBSIDIES AND REGULATION
      • Overview
      • Mobile satellite service band plan
      • Mobile satellite phone subsidies
    • OVERVIEW OF OPERATORS
      • Telstra
      • Optus
      • Pivotal Group
        • Table Revenue by business area - Jan 2011
        • Table Pivotel Globalstar satellite data costs - July 2012
      • VIX QuikTrak
      • AST Australia
      • Addcom
      • Indigo Telecom
      • FedSat - Australia's low earth orbit satellite (historic)
    • USAGE AND REVENUE ESTIMATES
      • Background information
        • Table Estimate mobile satellite users - 2007 - 2012
      • Revenue
        • Table Optus satellite revenue - 2007 - 2013

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