The high mobile penetration in Australia is reflected in the slow-down in subscriber growth seen in recent quarters. By mid-2016 mobile penetration approached 142%. 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 16.91 million subscribers reported as of the end of 2015, along with 478,000 wholesale customers which subscribe to services offered by MVNOs on Telstra’s network. Optus had around 8.34 million subscribers as of March 2016, in addition to almost 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, and MNOs are looking to close down their 2G services between 2017 and 2020 and to reassign the physical assets and 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.
LTE subscriber base increasing; Vodafone slows customers losses thanks to investment in network performance; report update includes telcos’ operating data to March 2016, recent market developments.
Companied mentioned in this report:
SingTel, Vodafone, 3, VHA, Optus, Telstra.