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Australia - Mobile Infrastructure

Australia - Mobile Infrastructure

Australia’s MNOs prepare for migration to 5G
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. MVNOs 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. Mobile broadband usage 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%. Subscribers to 2G networks are fast becoming a historical footnote: 2G infrastructure now carries less than 1% of total network traffic for all three MNOs Telstra closed down its 2G services in December 2016, and both Optus and Vodafone will follow suite in 2017. They will redeploy physical assets and also assign spectrum for LTE and the anticipated 5G services through deploying Single RAN technologies.
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.
To address poor services in rural areas, the government has progressed with its Mobile Black Spot Programs, funded by the federal and state governments as well as by MNOs. 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.
Telstra remains the market leader with about 17.2 million subscribers reported as of June 2016 (including mobile broadband), while Optus had around 8.41 million subscribers as of September 2016. Vodafone has arrested the long decline in its subscriber base, reporting a 2.6% year-on-year growth in its subscriber base in the year to June 2016, discounting MVNO customers. The gains indicate that the company’s significant investment in recent years, and strategy for growth under new leadership, is paying dividends.
Pressure on pricing will continue to place a strain on operator revenue into fiscal 2017, with revenue from mobile data services failing to offset the sharpening decline in revenue from voice services. This is being exacerbated by the popularity of OTT services which has led to a fall in SMS traffic and revenue. In addition OTT services are helping to reduce voice traffic volume, while with VoLTE technologies voice traffic is rendered as data.
The three LTE networks operated by Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have developed rapidly during the past two years as these players strive to provide an infrastructure capable of meetings customer demand for mobile broadband services. 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 including a prototype 5G.

Key developments:

Details of Round 2 Black Spot Program;
Vodafone switches LTE data traffic to new core network, reports growth in revenue and subscribers into 2016;
MNOS launch VoLTE services;
Telstra commits to $5 billion mobile spend over three years;
Smartphone sales drop in response to market saturation;
Telstra closes down its 2G network;
Lycamobile providing LTE services through Telstra Wholesale;
Australia rated with the highest mobile broadband speed globally;
Kogan Mobile providing LTE on Vodafone’s network;
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;
Report update includes telcos’ operating data to Q3 2016, ACMA market report 2015, TIO’s 2016 annual report; market surveys into 2016, ABS data to June 2016, Akamai broadband survey data to Q2 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MeU Mobile; Amaysim, Woolworths, Crazy Johns, JB HiFi, Telstra, Optus, VHA, Hutchison Australia, 3, nbn, Virgin Mobile, Aldi Mobile; Huawei, Lebara, AAPT, Kogan Mobile, GRLmobile, Red Bull Mobile, Macquarie Telecom, Boost Tel, Pivotel, Globalstar, SingTel, Vividwireless, Ericsson, EnergyAustralia, Unwired, Apple, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, Google, Sony, Samsung, Mobile Muster, Motorola.


  • EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
  • INDUSTRY OVERVIEW
    • BACKGROUND INFORMATION
      • Table GSMA mobile connectivity markers (top five countries) - 2016
      • Subscriber statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change - 2000 - 2017
        • Table Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO - 2009 - 2014
      • Intensifying market competition
      • Mobile coverage black spots
      • Roaming
      • NBN as backhaul
      • Mobile technology boosts productivity
      • Cutting the fixed-line cord
        • Table Mobile-only phone users - 2010 - 2016
      • Data mining - the next driver of mobile revenue
    • MOBILE NETWORK OPERATORS (MNOS)
      • Telstra
        • Table Telstra - overview of mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2016
      • Optus
        • Table Optus revenue - 2012 - 2017
        • Table Optus mobile revenue - 2013 - 2017
        • Table Optus mobile pre/postpaid customers - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Optus mobile broadband customers - 2013 - 2015
      • Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
        • Table VHA financial data - 2014 - 2016
        • Table VHA subscribers by type - 2009 - 2016
        • Table VHA MVNO customers - 2014 - 2016
    • NETWORK TECHNOLOGIES
      • HSPA-based services
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
      • 2G services
    • MOBILE VIRTUAL NETWORK OPERATORS (MVNOS)
      • Background on the MVNO sector
      • Market overview
        • Table Mobile subscribers share by MNO and MVNO - 2013 - 2015
      • Other developments in the MVNO market
      • Amaysim
      • Red Bull Mobile
      • Kogan Mobile
      • Aldi Mobile
      • Lebara Mobile
      • Macquarie Telecom
      • Virgin Mobile
      • Woolworths Mobile
      • MeU 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
  • MOBILE RETAIL MARKET
    • AN OVERVIEW OF THE MOBILE RETAIL MARKET
      • Major retail categories
        • Table Mobile phones subscribers with no fixed-line phone - 2012 - 2016.
      • Retail margins
      • Retail revenue
      • Consolidation
      • The move from prepaid to postpaid
      • Mobile broadband (separate report)
      • Superior customer care to come from a new TCP Code
      • Mobile calling plan standardisation a start to a clearer choice
      • Replacement market
        • Table Selected retailers - number of outlets by state
      • Wholesale aggregators
        • Table The wholesale market in Australia - key players - 2016
    • 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
  • STATISTICAL OVERVIEW OF THE MOBILE MARKET
    • REVENUE OVERVIEW AND STATISTICS
      • Statistical sources
      • Total mobile services revenue and forecasts
        • Table Historic - Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 1993 - 2009
        • Table Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 2010 - 2017
      • Operator revenue statistics overview
        • Table Telstra mobile services revenue - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone Australia revenue - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Optus key financial indicators - 2009 - 2017
        • Table Optus mobile revenue - 2013 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Mobile market revenue per major operator - 1993 - 2004
        • Table Historic - Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator - 1994; 1997; 2000 - 2004
        • Table Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator - 2005 - 2015
        • Table Mobile market share in revenue per major operator - 2000 - 2016
        • Table Telstra mobile and broadband revenue - 2009 - 2016
      • Average revenue per user (ARPU)
        • Table Blended monthly ARPU by MNO - 2000 - 2016
        • Table Annual change in blended monthly ARPU by MNO - 2004 - 2016
        • Table Telstra postpaid ARPU per month - 2004 - 2016
        • Table Optus postpaid ARPU per month - 2004 - 2017
    • SUBSCRIBER STATISTICS
      • Mobile subscriber statistics
        • Table Mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change - 2000 - 2017
        • Table Vodafone mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Telstra mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Telstra active retail prepaid and contract mobile subscribers - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Optus mobile subscribers - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Historic - Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier - 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2009
        • Table Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Retail mobile subscriber market share by carrier - 2015 - 2016
        • Table Mobile subscriber market share by carrier - 2010 - 2016
        • Table Historic - 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2003 - 2011
        • Table Historic - Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2007 - 2011
        • Table Historic - Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
        • Table Historic - 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
        • Table Historic - Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
        • Table Average LTE speed by MNO - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Share of postpaid subscribers by operator - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Share of prepaid subscribers by operators - 2014 - 2015
        • Table Vodafone - prepaid and contract subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Optus mobile prepaid and contract customers - 2008 - 2016
        • Table Telstra mobile subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table MNO share of prepaid subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table MNO share of postpaid subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table MNO market proportion of prepaid and contract subscribers - 2009 - 2015
        • Table Telstra wholesale subscribers - 2009 - 2016
        • Table Vodafone wholesale (MVNO) subscribers - 2014 - 2016
  • MOBILE INFRASTRUCTURE
    • SPECTRUM OVERVIEW
      • Overview
      • Spectrum regulations
      • ACMA five-year outlook - 2016 - 2020
        • Table Proposed 2.5GHz reallocation - 2011 - 2016
        • Table Expiring spectrum allocation timetable - 2015 - 2028
      • Spectrum-based services
        • Table Allocations for wireless access services (WAS)
      • Spectrum ownership and licences
        • Table Mobile spectrum by operator in capital city and regional area
        • Table WCDMA services by operator
        • Table Ownership of selected frequencies for 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz services
    • SPECTRUM AUCTIONS
      • Introduction
      • Digital dividend auction - 2013
        • Table An overview of the digital dividend auction timeline - 2010 - 2015
        • Table 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results - 2013
      • 500MHz frequency
        • Table The 500MHz spectrum licences - 1997
      • 800MHz and 1.8GHz frequencies
        • Table Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses
        • Table Auction results
        • Table 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2000
        • Table 1.8GHz spectrum auction results – 2016
      • 1880-1920MHz (1.9GHz) frequency
        • Table The 1900-1920MHzGHz spectrum auction results
      • 2010-2025MHz frequencies
      • 2.3GHz band
        • Table The 2.3GHz spectrum auction results - 2011
      • Unused 2GHz spectrum
      • 3.4GHz frequencies
        • Table Final 3.4GHz - October 2000
      • 3G Auctions
        • Table 3G auction results per bidder - 2001
    • LTE AND 5G INFRASTRUCTURE
      • High-speed packet access (HSPA)
      • Long-term Evolution (LTE)
        • Table Average LTE speed by MNO - 2012 - 2016
      • VoLTE
      • Moving from 4G to 5G
      • 5G developments
  • MOBILE SATELLITE SERVICES
    • INTRODUCTION
    • SECOND GENERATION SATELLITES WITH GLOBALSTAR TO BENEFIT RURAL AUSTRALIANS
    • PUBLIC SUBSIDIES AND REGULATION
      • Overview
      • Mobile satellite service band plan
      • Mobile satellite phone subsidies
      • Overview of operators
  • SMARTPHONES, TABLETS AND HANDSET MARKET
    • MARKET OVERVIEW
      • Trends in mobile handset market
        • Table Proportion of people using smartphones for internet access - 2012 - 2017
      • 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 - 2016
      • Tablets and e-readers
    • SMARTPHONE, TABLET AND HANDSET STATISTICS
      • Shipments
        • Table Smartphone users - 2012 - 2016
        • Table Australian handset shipments - 2004 - 2016
        • Table Smartphone penetration - 2012 - 2016
      • Handset recycling
        • Table Key recycling indicators - Mobile Muster - 2006 - 2016
      • Handset supplier market shares
      • Smartphones and internet usage
        • Table Top 5 uses of mobile internet - 2009 - 2015
      • Tablet sales
        • Table Estimated tablet users - 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
        • Table Tablet market share by manufacturer - 2014 - 2016
      • 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 - 2014
      • 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
    • WEARABLE TECHNOLOGY

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