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Australia - Mobile Communications - Subscriber Statistics

  • December 2016
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 14 pages

The high mobile penetration in Australia is reflected in the slow-down in subscriber growth seen in recent quarters. By late 2016 mobile penetration approached 143%. Although a significant proportion of subscribers make use of multiple phones or SIM cards, growth is stimulated by a steady increase in the country's population. Operators can also expect to benefit from further migration among consumers from fixed-line to mobile telecoms, supported by the practical benefits to consumers of the improved quality of mobile data services resulting from network upgrades and the wide-scale reach of LTE infrastructure.

Telstra remains the market leader with about 17.2 million subscribers reported as of June 2016 (including mobile broadband), along with 530,000 wholesale customers which subscribe to services offered by MVNOs on Telstra's network. Optus had around 8.41 million subscribers as of September 2016, in addition to over one million mobile broadband subscribers. 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.

In common with other mature markets, a high proportion of mobile subscribers remain on 3G plans. However, this sector is diminishing in line with the greater reach of LTE networks and a wider range of affordable LTE-enabled smartphones. 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.

This report provides the latest operator statistics as well an analysis on the overall market, including operator market shares, and an assessment of the deployment of 2G, 3G and LTE technologies as operators upgrade networks to keep pace with customer demand for high-end mobile data services. The report assesses the prepaid and postpaid segments and reviews the wholesale market.

Key developments:

LTE subscriber base showing strong growth; Vodafone reverses customer losses thanks to investment in network performance; report update includes telcos' operating data to September 2016, recent market developments.

Companies mentioned in this report:

SingTel, Vodafone, 3, VHA, Optus, Telstra.

Table Of Contents

Australia - Mobile Communications - Subscriber Statistics
1. Synopsis
2. Statistical sources
3. Mobile subscriber statistics
3.1 Total subscribers and annual growth rates
3.2 Operator market shares and growth
3.3 2G, 3G and 4G subscribers
3.4 Background information
3.5 Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator
3.6 Wholesale market
4. Related reports
Table 1 Mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2000 - 2017
Table 2 Vodafone mobile subscribers 2009 2016
Table 3 Telstra mobile subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 4 Telstra active retail prepaid and contract mobile subscribers 2011 - 2016
Table 5 Optus mobile subscribers 2008 - 2016
Table 6 Historic - Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2009
Table 7 Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 2010 - 2016
Table 8 Retail mobile subscriber market share by carrier 2015 - 2016
Table 9 Mobile subscriber market share by carrier 2010 - 2016
Table 10 Historic - 3G mobile subscribers by carrier 2003 - 2011
Table 11 Historic - Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier 2007 - 2011
Table 12 Historic - Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2011
Table 13 Historic - 2G mobile subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2011
Table 14 Historic - Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2011
Table 15 Average LTE speed by MNO 2012 - 2016
Table 16 Share of postpaid subscribers by operator 2014 2015
Table 17 Share of prepaid subscribers by operators 2014 2015
Table 18 Vodafone prepaid and contract subscribers 2009 2016
Table 19 Optus mobile prepaid and contract customers 2008 - 2016
Table 20 Telstra mobile subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 21 MNO share of prepaid subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 22 MNO share of postpaid subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 23 MNO market proportion of prepaid and contract subscribers 2009 - 2015
Table 24 Telstra wholesale subscribers 2009 - 2016
Table 25 Vodafone wholesale (MVNO) subscribers 2014 - 2016
Chart 1 Overview of mobile market subscribers versus population 2005 2017
Chart 2 Overview of annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 2005 - 2015
Chart 3 Vodafone prepaid and contract subscribers 2009 2016
Chart 4 Optus mobile prepaid and contract customers 2008 2016
Chart 5 Telstra mobile subscribers 2009 2016
Exhibit 1 Background information on the 3G race by the MNOs

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