In 2011 the mobile communications market in Australia, as in other developed economies, is seeing a further shift in emphasis from voice to more data-orientated services, driven by more new handsets and applications. Penetration has outstripped the size of the market which indicates that people are increasingly using multiple services and multiple devices.
While voice is still the dominant mobile service in Australia, mobile data has steadily become more popular, spurred on by the advent of smartphones from vendors like Apple, HTC and RIM. These smartphones facilitate a wide range of data applications and services. However the winner in 2011 will be the handsets based on Google’s Android operating system. No longer held back by the mobile operators, mobile broadband growth has been extremely rapid since late 2007 and this is also to be the main feature of 2011.
Total mobile services revenue is expected to grow to above $17 billion in 2011, representing a growth rate of around 8% down from the double digit growth rates of 2009. However over the next three years competition and commoditisation will lead to even lower ARPUs.
Competition is set to intensify between mobile operators, resulting in lower mobile call charges for customers. Telstra recently took off the gloves and has increased its position in the market.
This will combine to produce a decrease in mobile prices. Furthermore, more customers will reduce their use of fixed-line voice and data services in favour of mobile services.
Companies mentioned in this report include:
Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, Hutchison, VHA, Amaysim, Lycamobile and Tru.