Mobile satellite services are crucial in Australia to ensure universal access to basic telephony products in very remote areas. Australia’s experience of satellites dates back to the 1950s and 1960s. Australian entrepreneur, the late Kerry Packer, was among the first to recognise the commercial potential of satellite communications. In 1977 he commissioned a report to investigate the launch of an Australian satellite. Subsequently Aussat was established by the government in 1981 and was later sold after huge financial losses to Optus in 1992.
In 2012 Optus and Telstra are still the major infrastructure providers of mobile satellite services though the majority of terrestrial-based satellite services continue to be fixed services. Mobile satellite services are required for operations such as sea-based communications and outback mining companies, where there is limited or no 2G/3G mobile phone coverage and fleet-tracking services. The mobile satellite subsidy scheme has seen activity increase for those travelling to or living in remote areas.
While service charges remain high, this generally restricts growth in the use of services. But with the availability of dual mode phones, GSM and MSS, there has been an increase in companies in the market place.
In this report BuddeComm provides an overview of the market, an overview of the operators and some statistics on users and revenue. For information on satellite-based internet services and providers, see separate report: Australia - Telecoms - High-speed satellite services.
Hot topics and technologies mentioned in this report include – subscribers, market share, satellite mobile voice, satellite mobile data, SMS.
Companied covered in this report include:
Addcom, Telstra, Optus, Pivotel, Thuraya, Globalstar, Just Mobile, Vodafone, Think Mobile, TracerTrak, Iridium, Inmarsat, Reward Mobile, AST Group, Indigo Telecom.