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Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics and Forecasts

  • July 2014
  • -
  • Paul Budde Communication Pty Ltd
  • -
  • 131 pages

Focus for investment among MNOs shifts to supporting high-end mobile data services
This report provides data and analyses on Australia’s developing mobile market. It covers a wide range of subjects including a core overview of the market, an overview of operators’ subscriber statistics and revenue, and an assessment of spectrum usage, particularly in the light of recent auctions. The report also assesses the fast developing smartphone market and the implications which the promotion of new and cheaper devices is having on the retail sector. Developments in 3G network infrastructure and in mobile satellite networks are also covered.

Network operator strategies fixed on LTE to maintain revenue from mobile data services
The major mobile network operators – Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone – are capitalising on consumer use of mobile broadband which has taken off during the last few years. The trend will continue as a result of the cyclical introduction of a widening range of affordable devices, as well as the growing footprint of LTE networks which should cover 98% of the population (from two MNOs at least) by the end of 2016.

Subscriber growth maintained...
The number of mobile subscribers continues to grow steadily, with mobile penetration reaching 135% by mid-2014. Continued growth, though slower than in former years, will be maintained by the significant proportion of subscribers who make use of multiple phones or SIM cards, compounded by a steady increase in the population. Operators can also expect to benefit from further migration among consumers from fixed-line to mobile telecoms. While growth is likely to continue in the next few years as subscribers take to smartphones, this will slow in line with higher penetration, being about 2% into 2015.
Telstra remains the market leader with about 16 million subscribers in mid-2014, while Optus had around 9.4 million. Vodafone has continued to see a decline in subscriber numbers, to 4.96 by March 2014, though since late 2013 losses have been significantly lower than was seen in 2012 and early 2013.

... though continuing pressure on revenue
Overall mobile services revenue among MNOs continues to come under competitive pressure. Telstra and Optus into 2015 will be better placed to capitalise on their 700MHz concessions, and so further develop their LTE subscriber base and revenue derived from mobile data services, while Vodafone will remain under strain as a result of continuing subscriber losses and the failure of the operator to compete for this valuable spectrum asset. Compounding these pressures is the recent decision by the ACCC to regulate the pricing of wholesale SMS tariffs.
BuddeComm expects that revenue from MNOs will be flat in 2015. Future revenue growth will be impacted by continuing activity from a number of the larger MVNOs, as some of the smaller failed operators are removed from the market.

For the MNOs, the latest results are mixed, with only Telstra (to December 2013) among the three operators having reported revenue growth. Optus reported a 5.7% fall in mobile revenue in FY2014, while VHA continued to experience steep revenue declines on the back of customer disaffection with service offerings.
Spectrum assets a key to future service offerings
Following a dormant period between 2007 and 2011, a number of significant auctions have since been held, particularly in the 2.3GHz and 2GHz bands for regional and rural areas. The auction of digital dividend spectrum in 2013 will enable mobile operators, chiefly Optus and Telstra, to make use of their 700MHz concessions when these become available in early 2015

Mobile infrastructure gearing from 3G to 4G
The three MNOs began building their 3G networks in earnest in the mid-2000s, resulting in the rapid take-up of 3G among consumers as they migrated from 2G networks. This development is now being reported with the transition from 3G to 4G/LTE. The near comprehensive reach of LTE expected by the end of 2016 will see a growing proportion of subscribers using LTE-based services. This will be facilitated by competitive pressure for operators not to charge a premium for LTE connectivity, a trend which has been seen in many markets globally.

Improved infrastructure going hand-in-hand with the growing smartphone and tablet market
Smartphone use in Australia continues to grow among consumers. There has also been a change in the popularity of certain handsets, with a marked shift towards Android based-phones at the expense of Apple iOS. This has largely resulted from the greater number of manufacturers and styles for the Android platform, thus providing a wide range of pricing points.
Smartphones and tablets are increasingly being used to access the internet. These devices account for a growing proportion of data accessed via the mobile and WiFi environments. Smartphone penetration reached about 90% by mid-2014, while surveys have shown that about 60% of respondents have a tablet. These figures will increase steadily into 2015 as a greater number of competitively priced units hit the market, and as the reach of LTE networks widen

Key developments:

Analysis on mobile user productivity; MVNO market receives shakeup with the collapse of smaller operators; tablet penetration approaches 60%; Australian police forces adopts tablets on the beat; Police Federation continues to lobby for use of 20MHz in the 700MHz band; Vodafone continuing to lose subscribers despite improved network performance; includes market developments to mid-2014; telcos’ financial and operating updates to March 2014; market developments to mid-2014.

Companies covered in this report include:

Optus, Telstra, Mobile Muster, Motorola, Apple, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, Google, Sony Ericsson, Samsung, Vodafone, 3, Amaysim, Woolworths, Crazy John’s, JB HiFi, NBN Co, Virgin Mobile, Aldi Mobile; Huawei, Lebara, AAPT, Kogan Mobile, GRLmobile, Red Bull Mobile, Macquarie Telecom, Boost Tel, Pivotel, Globalstar, AUSTAR, Walker Wireless, ActewAGL
Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year

Table Of Contents

Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics and Forecasts
1. The Market in 2014
1.1 Industry overview
1.1.1 Background information
1.1.2 Subscriber statistics
1.1.3 Mobile coverage remains major problem for the region
1.1.4 Rural Australia in favour of NBN mobile services
1.1.5 Consumer rip-off stops with new Telecommunications Consumer Protection Code
1.1.6 Mobile calling plan standardisation a start to a clearer choice
1.1.7 Roaming
1.1.8 NBN as backhaul
1.1.9 Mobile technology boost productivity
1.2 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
1.2.1 Telstra
1.2.2 SingTel Optus
1.2.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
1.3 Network technologies
1.3.1 HSPA-based services
1.3.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
1.3.3 2G services (historic)
1.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
1.4.1 Background on the MVNO sector
1.4.2 Market overview
1.4.3 Other developments in the MVNO market
1.4.4 Amaysim
1.4.5 Red Bull Mobile
1.4.6 Kogan Mobile
1.4.7 Aldi Mobile
1.4.8 Lebara Mobile
1.4.9 Macquarie Telecom
1.4.10 Virgin Mobile
1.4.11 Woolworths Mobile
1.5 Mobile resellers
1.5.1 Background information
1.5.2 Resellers on the Telstra network
1.5.3 Resellers on the Optus network
1.5.4 Resellers on the Vodafone network
1.6 Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
1.6.1 Background information
1.6.2 Pivotel
1.6.3 M2 Telecommunications Group (separate report)
2. Revenue Overview and Statistics
2.1 Statistical sources
2.2 Total mobile services revenue and forecasts
2.2.1 Overview of current year
2.2.2 Moving into 2015
2.3 Operator revenue statistics overview
2.3.1 Background
2.3.2 Revenue per major operator
2.3.3 Revenue trends
2.3.4 Revenue share
2.3.5 Revenue by service
2.4 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
2.4.1 Overview of ARPU
2.4.2 Blended ARPU
2.4.3 Historic ARPU statistics
3. Subscriber Statistics
3.1 Statistical sources
3.2 Mobile subscriber statistics
3.2.1 Total subscribers and annual growth rates
3.2.2 Operator market shares and growth
3.2.3 2G, 3G and 4G subscribers
3.2.4 Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator
3.2.5 Wholesale market
4. Retail Market
4.1 An overview of the mobile retail market
4.1.1 Major retail categories
4.1.2 Retail margins
4.1.3 Retail revenues
4.1.4 Consolidation
4.1.5 The move from prepaid to postpaid
4.1.6 Mobile broadband (separate report)
4.1.7 Superior customer care to come from a new TCP Code
4.1.8 Mobile calling plan standardisation a start to a clearer choice
4.1.9 Replacement market
4.1.10 Wholesale aggregators
4.2 Major mobile retail companies
4.2.1 Background information
4.2.2 Vertically integrated operators
4.2.3 Independents retailing services exclusively for mobile operators
4.2.4 Independents retailing services for a variety of network operators
5. 3G and 4G Infrastructure
5.1 Background information
5.2 Network operators
5.2.1 Telstra
5.2.2 Optus
5.2.3 VHA
5.3 Mobile sites infrastructure
5.3.1 Overview and statistics
5.3.2 Crown Castle
5.4 Infrastructure analysis
5.4.1 Structural separation and open networks
5.4.2 Squeezed out of the content markets
5.4.3 Mobile broadband market
5.5 Long-term evolution (LTE) (separate report)
6. Spectrum Overview
6.1 Overview
6.2 Spectrum regulations
6.2.1 Background information
6.2.2 Australian Radiofrequency Plan
6.3 ACMA five-year outlook 2012 - 2016
6.3.1 Spectrum demand overview
6.3.2 Towards 2020 Future spectrum requirements
6.3.3 Regulatory issues
6.3.4 Fifteen-year spectrum licence pathway
6.3.5 ACMA takes steps to improve spectrum trading arrangements
6.4 Spectrum-based services
6.4.1 Background information
6.4.2 Mobile services
6.4.3 WiMAX wireless services
6.4.4 Ultra-Wideband services (UWB)
6.4.5 New broadband wireless technology
6.5 Spectrum ownership and licences
6.5.1 Mobile spectrum
6.5.2 Apparatus licences
6.5.3 Unlicensed spectrum (IMS)
7. Spectrum Auctions
7.1 Mobile spectrum auctions
7.1.1 Introduction
7.1.2 Digital dividend auction 2013
7.1.3 500MHz frequency
7.1.4 800MHz and 1.8GHz frequencies
7.1.5 1880-1920MHz (1.9GHz) frequency
7.1.6 2010-2025MHz frequencies
7.1.7 2.3GHz band
7.1.8 Unused 2GHz spectrum
7.1.9 3.4GHz frequencies
7.1.10 3G Auctions
8. Smartphones, Tablets and Handset Market
8.1 Market overview
8.1.1 Trends in mobile handset market
8.1.2 4G market continues to grow
8.1.3 Telstra's T-Hub 2 moving fixed-line customers to the future NBN
8.2 Predictions into 2014 and beyond
8.2.1 Smartphone data usage increasing
8.2.2 Tablets and e-readers
8.3 Smartphone, tablet and handset statistics
8.3.1 Shipments
8.3.2 Handset recycling
8.3.3 Handset supplier market shares
8.3.4 Smartphones and internet usage
8.3.5 Tablet sales thriving
8.4 Analysis
8.4.1 Mobile vendors set to lose the proprietary battle
8.4.2 Mid-tier mobile phones to decline
8.5 Market surveys
8.5.1 Overview
8.5.2 Smartphones outgrow mobile market
8.5.3 Smartphones lead to higher data spend
8.5.4 Smartphone users are action buyers
8.5.5 Tablet usage increasing
8.5.6 Android remains the favoured operating system
8.6 The future of the smartphone market
8.6.1 Hardware becomes a utility platform
8.6.2 Platform for innovation and industry transformation
8.6.3 Breaking into new markets
8.6.4 Who will dominate the WiFi market?
8.6.5 Conclusion
9. Mobile Satellite Services
9.1 Mobile satellite services
9.1.1 Introduction
9.1.2 Second generation satellites with Globalstar to benefit rural Australians
9.1.3 Twitter on satellite phones
9.2 Public subsidies and regulation
9.2.1 Overview
9.2.2 Mobile satellite service band plan
9.2.3 Mobile satellite phone subsidies
9.3 Overview of operators
9.3.1 Telstra
9.3.2 Optus
9.3.3 Pivotal Group
9.3.4 VIX QuikTrak
9.3.5 AST Australia
9.3.6 Addcom
9.3.7 Indigo Telecom
9.3.8 FedSat Australia's low earth orbit satellite (historic)
9.4 Usage and revenue estimates
9.4.1 Background information
9.4.2 Revenue
Table 1 Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2010 - 2014
Table 2 Total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2010 - 2014
Table 3 Optus revenue 2012 - 2014
Table 4 Pivotel Globalstar satellite data costs July 2014
Table 5 Historic - Total mobile services market revenue and annual change 1993 - 2004
Table 6 Total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2005 - 2014
Table 7 Telstra mobile services revenue 2009 - 2014
Table 8 Vodafone Australia revenue 2009 - 2013
Table 9 Optus key financial indicators 2009 - 2014
Table 10 Optus mobile service revenue 2013 2014
Table 11 Historic - Mobile market revenue per major operator 1993 - 2004
Table 12 Mobile market revenue per major operator 2005 - 2014
Table 13 Historic - Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator 1994; 1997; 2000 - 2004
Table 14 Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator 2005 - 2014
Table 15 Annual change of mobile market share per major operator 2000 - 2014
Table 16 Estimated mobile service revenue by service, proportion of total 2007 - 2014
Table 17 Total mobile voice revenue per major operator 2007 - 2014
Table 18 Mobile voice revenue as a proportion of total mobile services revenue 2007 - 2015
Table 19 Mobile data revenue per major operator 2007 - 2014
Table 20 Annual change in data revenue per major operator as a proportion of total mobile services revenue 2008 - 2012
Table 21 Blended monthly ARPU by MNO 2000 - 2014
Table 22 Annual change in blended monthly ARPU by MNO 2004 - 2014
Table 23 Postpaid ARPU per month Telstra, Optus and Vodafone 2004 - 2014
Table 24 Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2000 - 2014
Table 25 Historic - Mobile subscribers by carrier 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2004
Table 26 Mobile subscribers by carrier 2005 - 2014
Table 27 Historic - Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2004
Table 28 Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 2005 - 2014
Table 29 Historic - Mobile subscriber market share by carrier 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2004
Table 30 Mobile subscriber market share by carrier 2010 - 2014
Table 31 3G mobile subscribers by carrier 2003 - 2013
Table 32 Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier 2007 - 2013
Table 33 Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2013
Table 34 2G mobile subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2013
Table 35 Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier 2006 - 2013
Table 36 Prepaid subscribers by mobile network operator 2008 - 2014
Table 37 Number of mobile phone services in operation - prepaid and postpaid 2006 - 2014
Table 38 Wholesale subscribers Telstra versus Optus 2006 - 2013
Table 39 Selected retailers number of outlets by state
Table 40 The wholesale market in Australia - key players - 2014
Table 41 Mobile base stations 2009; 2011 - 2012
Table 42 Crown Castle mobile tower acquisitions 2000 - 2012
Table 43 The 500MHz spectrum licences 1997
Table 44 Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses expiring in 2013
Table 45 Smartphone ownership by age group 2013
Table 46 Internet connections via mobile handsets 2009 - 2013
Table 47 Australian handset shipments (historic) 2004 - 2008
Table 48 Australian handset shipments 2009 - 2014
Table 49 Key recycling indicators Mobile Muster 2006 - 2013
Table 50 Australian handset brand market share major suppliers 2008 - 2013
Table 51 Australian 3G handset market (historic) by major operator 2008 - 2010
Table 52 Use of advanced phone features % of mobile user accesses of rich media/smartphone features - 2013
Table 53 Top 5 uses of mobile internet 2009 - 2013
Table 54 Estimated tablet users 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
Table 55 Low-end, mid-tier and high-end mobile device markets percentage of units sold 2007; 2013.
Table 56 Apps info and payment plan data 2009 - 2013
Table 57 Monthly phone spend on services 2010 - 2013
Table 58 Types of use on smartphones 2012 - 2013
Table 59 Smartphone app use by age group 2013
Table 60 Typical selected usage pattern of a tablet user 2012 - 2013
Table 61 Estimated Australian platform market share 2008 - 2014
Table 62 Pivotel Globalstar satellite data costs July 2014
Table 63 Estimate mobile satellite users 2007 - 2014
Table 64 Optus satellite revenue 2007 - 2014
Chart 1 Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change 2010 - 2014
Chart 2 Overview of total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2010 - 2014
Chart 3 Overview of total mobile services market revenue and annual change 2005 - 2014
Chart 4 Overview of Vodafone Australia revenue 2009 - 2013
Chart 5 Overview of mobile market revenue per major operator 2005 - 2014
Chart 6 Overview of annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator 2005 - 2014
Chart 7 Overview of mobile revenue share per major operator 2000 - 2014
Chart 8 Overview of mobile service revenue voice versus data 2007 - 2014
Chart 9 Overview of total mobile voice revenue per major operator 2007 - 2014
Chart 10 Overview of mobile voice revenue as a proportion of total mobile services revenue 2007 - 2014
Chart 11 Overview of total mobile data revenue per major operator 2007 - 2014
Chart 12 Overview of annual change in mobile data revenue per major operator 2008 - 2014
Chart 13 Overview of blended monthly ARPU by MNO 2005 - 2014
Chart 14 Overview of prepaid ARPU per month Telstra, Optus and Vodafone 2004 - 2014
Chart 15 Overview of mobile market subscribers versus population 2005 - 2014
Chart 16 Overview of mobile subscribers by carrier 2005 - 2014
Chart 17 Overview of annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier 2005 - 2014
Chart 18 Overview of Australian handset shipments 2009 - 2014
Chart 19 Overview of tonnes of mobile equipment collected versus public awareness 2006 - 2013
Chart 20 Overview of the trends of the top five uses of mobile internet 2009 - 2013
Exhibit 1 The initial analogue operators brief historic background
Exhibit 2 MVNO models
Exhibit 3 MVNO opportunities
Exhibit 4 Mobile carriers and selected MVNOs 2014
Exhibit 5 Examples of key MVNO customer segments
Exhibit 6 Amaysim at a glance
Exhibit 7 Mobile carriers and selected resellers and MVNEs
Exhibit 8 An overview of Boost Tel
Exhibit 9 Pivotel Communications Pty Limited at a glance
Exhibit 10 Background information on the 3G race by the MNOs
Exhibit 11 Strathfield Group a brief background look at its services
Exhibit 12 700MHz reallocation 2011 - 2014
Exhibit 13 Digital dividend spectrum
Exhibit 14 Proposed 2.5GHz reallocation 2011 - 2016
Exhibit 15 Allocations for wireless access services (WAS) 2009
Exhibit 16 Mobile spectrum by operator in capital city and regional area
Exhibit 17 GSM services by operator
Exhibit 18 WCDMA services by operator
Exhibit 19 Ownership of selected frequencies for 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz services 2014
Exhibit 20 An overview of the digital dividend auction timeline 2010 - 2015
Exhibit 21 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results 2013
Exhibit 22 Companies initially showing interest in the 800/1800MHz auctions
Exhibit 23 Catapult
Exhibit 24 Auction results
Exhibit 25 Final 1.8GHz spectrum auction results
Exhibit 26 The 1900-1920MHzGHz spectrum auction results
Exhibit 27 The 2.3GHz spectrum auction results 2011
Exhibit 28 3.4GHz initial bidders August 2000
Exhibit 29 Final 3.4GHz October 2000
Exhibit 30 3G auction results per bidder 2001
Exhibit 31 Pivotel Communications Pty Limited at a glance

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