Australia - Mobile Communications - Subscriber Statistics

Synopsis

The high mobile penetration in Australia is reflected in the slow-down in subscriber growth seen in recent quarters. By late 2015 mobile penetration approached 140%. 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 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 9.35 million subscribers in September 2015, while Vodafone has arrested the long decline in its subscriber base, reporting a 2.1% year-on-year growth in its subscriber base by June 2015. The company’s losses in 2014 were significantly lower than was seen in 2012 and 2013, and the new gains indicate that the company’s strategy for growth, under new leadership, is paying dividends.

In common with other mature markets, there remain a high proportion of mobile subscribers on 3G plans. However, this sector is diminishing in line with the greater reach of LTE networks and a wider range of cheap 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, using the upgraded assets for LTE 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 increasing; Vodafone slows customers losses thanks to investment in network performance; report update includes telcos’ operating data to December 2015, recent market developments.

Companied mentioned in this report include:

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

Table of Contents

  • 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 market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change – 2000 - 2016
  • Table 2 – Historic - Mobile subscribers by carrier – 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2004
  • Table 3 – Vodafone – subscribers by type – 2009 – 2015
  • Table 4 – Telstra mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 5 – Optus mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 6 – Historic - Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier – 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2004
  • Table 7 – Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier – 2005 - 2015
  • Table 8 – Historic - Mobile subscriber market share by carrier – 1993; 1997; 2000 - 2004
  • Table 9 – Mobile subscriber market share by carrier – 2010 - 2015
  • 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 – Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier – 2006 - 2015
  • 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 - 2015
  • Table 16 – Share of postpaid subscribers by operators – 2014 – 2015
  • Table 17 – Share of prepaid subscribers by operators – 2014 – 2015
  • Table 18 – Vodafone – prepaid and contract subscribers – 2009 – 2015
  • Table 19 – Optus mobile pre/postpaid customers – 2008 - 2015
  • Table 20 – Telstra mobile subscribers – 2009 - 2015
  • Table 21 – Telstra wholesale subscribers – 2009 - 2015
  • Chart 1 – Overview of mobile market subscribers versus population – 2005 – 2016
  • Chart 2 – Overview of annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier – 2005 - 2015
  • Exhibit 1 – Background information on the 3G race by the MNOs

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