2007 Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics, Trends and Forecasts

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Last updated: 3 Sep 2007 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 130

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

This report provides high-level strategic analysis and forecasts of the mobile communication markets, as well as profiles on the key players in that market. It identifies business opportunities, points out the hype and the pitfalls, and will be of assistance in making the right business decisions.

  • Market Analysis 2007;
  • Extensive statistical overviews of revenues and subscribers;
  • Overview of the major players in the mobile industry;
  • The 3G market - market overview, statistics, analyses, key developments;
  • The mobile retail market;
  • Prepaid mobile services market;
  • Trends and developments in substitution, capped prices and FMC;
  • Prepaid electronic payment services market;
  • Infrastructure overviews and statistical information;
  • Mobile satellite market;
  • Mobile handset market.

Executive Summary

Mobile communications is still a huge telecommunications powerhouse. The premium prices that the industry can charge are generating an ongoing flood of revenue into the industry. Furthermore, large parts of the 2G infrastructure have been written off and the spectrum on which these services are built has also long been written off. No wonder the industry have been so to move to the next stage, where, like what happened in the fixed network, revenues will come from mobility applications. For more information, see chapter 1.1.1, page 1.

But 3G is now making serious progress with more than 4 million users, led by Telstra’s Next G network. However, in general they obviously still want to milk their 2G revenues for as long as possible. Let’s be honest – it doesn’t matter if a call is made on a 2G or a 3G network (or SMSs, for that matter), and these, combined, still account for well over 90% of mobile revenues. Data traffic both over the 2G and 3G networks is currently going thought the roof, fuelled by the capped price plans. For more information, see chapter 7, page 76.

Both in 2G and 3G the players remain the same: Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Hutchison. Telstra is still leading the market, thanks to a very conservative strategy. They still have not introduced capped voice plans. Optus’ revenues have been severely affected by the competition of 2005/06. Vodafone and Hutchison have been leading the competition, but Vodafone remains a marginal operation and there is continued speculation about the future of the Australian operation. For a long time Hutchison has been the only 3G operator; however it is now facing increased competition and has lost its leading position to Telstra. Belatedly Optus is now rushing into 3G with an $800 million investment in a regional network. For more information, see chapters 1.3, page 5, chapter 1.4, page 12 and chapter 2.1, page 24.

The growth in prepaid has slowed down. The players are attempting to rein in the advance of too much competition, which around the world is manifested in large numbers of customers moving to prepaid services. The lack of a similar development in Australia indicates that the level of competition is maintained and controlled by the happy ‘quadropoly’. For more information, see chapter 3, page 42.

Key highlights:

  • Despite all the grandstanding on new data applications in 2008 the market will still be dominated by voice. Together with SMS that will account for well over 90% of all mobile revenues.
  • There are now more mobile subscribers than there are people in Australia, indicating that a significant proportion of the population has more than one mobile subscription.
  • Mobile revenues will grow to over $12 billion in 2008.
  • ARPUs have dropped again and are now around $46 per month. Telstra has the lowest ARPU, and Hutchison has the highest.
  • There are now more than 20 million mobile subscriptions.
  • Following a spurt in 2006 capped prices have not featured to any large degree in the competition scene, indicating a ‘controlled’ level of competition.
  • A million CDMA customers will have to be transferred over the next 12 months, the majority to Telstra’s Next G.
  • Growth in 3G is steady and is approaching 25% penetration.
  • The growth in prepaid has slowed down, indicating a stabilisation of competition in the market.
  • Mobile substitution remains low as mobile call charges remain relatively high.
  • Fixed Mobile Convergence (FMC) is not expected to occur to any significant extent until 2010-2012.
  • The handset market continues to be dominated by the operators and their bundled pricing strategies. Nokia remains the key supplier.
  • Margins for retailers are again under pressure and continue their downward spiral.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year.

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