2007 Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics, Trends and Forecasts

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.

Table of Contents

1.1Industry trends
1.1.1The mobile market – in 2007
1.1.2Less than 5% of users on 3G
1.1.3Who wants to pay for mobile TV?
1.1.4Telstra is simply transferring customers
1.1.5Lack of corporate interest
1.1.6Nothing will happen before 4G
1.1.7Protecting the lucrative voice business
1.1.8Municipality networks could undermine mobile
1.2.1Mobile industry heading up a dead-end street
1.3Revenue overview
1.3.1The market in 2007
1.3.2Revenue statistics by operator and annual growth
1.3.3Market shares by operator
1.3.4Average Revenue per User (ARPU)
1.4Subscriber statistics
1.4.1Mobile subscriber overview
1.4.2Business market
1.4.3Residential market trends
1.4.4Residential market surveys
2.1Network operators
2.1.1The initial analogue operators
2.1.22G operators
2.2SPs & resellers
2.2.2Resellers on the Telstra network
2.2.3Resellers on the Optus network
2.2.4Resellers on the Vodafone network
2.3.3MVNO initiatives from Optus
2.3.4dingo blue first to unbundle handsets (post mortem)
2.3.5Virgin Mobile (post mortem)
2.3.6Macquarie Telecom
2.3.8M2: Optus wholesaler
2.3.9Analysis of MVNO developments
2.3.10Retail operators
2.4Retail market
2.4.1The Industry in 2007
2.4.2Overview of the dealer market – 2007
2.4.3Retailer market analysis – update 2007
2.4.4Key retail operators
2.4.5Retail outlets carriers
3.1Prepaid slowing down - 2007
3.3Developments and issues
3.3.1Customer demand
3.3.2Prepaid now well established
3.3.3How competition changed the market (history)
3.3.4Trends towards user-power
3.3.5Prepaid Electronic Payment Services
3.3.6Handset subsidies
3.3.7Fast moving consumer goods
3.4Market statistics
3.4.2Market revenues
3.5Business models
3.5.1Card and PIN
3.6Major players
4.2Market forecasts
4.2.1Mobile prepaid
4.2.2Calling cards
4.3Market overview
4.3.1Retail outlets
4.3.2Card and PIN
4.4Recharge models
4.4.1Automatic Teller Machines (ATMs)
4.4.2Electronic Funds Transfer Point of Sale (EFTPOS)
4.4.3Integration onto POS PC screens
4.5Trends and developments
4.5.1New electronic recharge cards
4.5.2New markets
4.6Revenue overview
4.7Major players
4.7.1e-pay Australia
4.7.2Bill Express Limited
5.1.2Substitution starts to move
5.1.4Fixed and mobile telephone is converging
5.2Capped prices
5.2.1Kick-starting competition
5.2.2Vodafone pushing for growth
5.2.3Optus fights back
5.2.5Market analysis – 2006
5.3Fixed Mobile Conversion
5.3.1Incentives to converge
5.3.2FCT regulatory issues
5.3.3Telstra corporate FMC trial
6.1Trends and developments
6.1.1How many mobile networks is too many?
6.1.2Mobile structural separation
6.1.3Mobile phone infrastructure code improved by ACMA
6.1.4Network sharing – an obvious step in the right direction
6.1.5Sharing announcement 2
6.2GSM infrastructure providers
6.2.1Telstra MobileNet
6.2.2Optus Mobile
6.2.3Vodafone Australia
6.3Other networks
6.3.1Cocos (Keeling) Islands
6.3.2Norfolk Island
6.3.3Christmas Island
6.4Code Division Multiple Access (CDMA) networks
6.4.2Hutchison – Orange
6.53G Infrastructure
6.6Telstra Vehicle Access Network
6.7IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS)
6.7.2Partnership to promote IMS technology
6.7.3Market Analysis
6.8Mobile sites infrastructure
6.8.2Crown Castle
6.8.3Vertical Telecoms (Vertel)
6.8.4Entire Network Solutions
6.8.5Deployment of Radiocommunications Infrastructure Code
6.8.6Court limits carrier’s powers and immunities
7.1Market overview
7.1.1The tough new world of 3G
7.1.2Business modelling
7.2Statistical overview
7.3Market and industry analyses
7.3.1WiMAX for 4G
7.3.2Increased awareness of 3G – but ….
7.3.3Discount war drives down 3G ARPU
7.3.43G mobile data
7.3.5Analysis of Australia’s first 3G launch
7.4Industry developments
7.4.13G auctions
8.1New innovative spectrum direction
8.1.1Introduction and analysis
8.1.2Wireless explosion requires a rethink
8.1.3ACMA’s innovative spectrum plans
8.1.4Spectrum harmonisation
8.2Follow up developments and analyses
8.2.1Shame on you, wireless industry
8.2.2Monopoly or shared national asset?
9.2Subscriber statistics
9.3Mobile Satellite Service Band Plan
9.4Mobile satellite phone subsidies
9.4.1Extension scheme from 2006
9.5Telstra’s networks
9.5.1Inmarsat and maritime communications
9.5.2Iterra (VSATs)
9.5.3Iridium Satellite LLC
9.6MobileSat – Optus
9.9FedSat – Australia’s own LEO
9.10Global positioning system
10.1Handset market in mid-2007
10.2Market overview
10.2.1Trends in mobile handsets
10.2.2Replacement market
10.3Handset sales statistics
10.4Handset costs
10.5Key players in Australia
10.6Market surveys
10.6.1Mobile Phone Lifestyle Survey – 2006
10.6.2Mobile handset survey – 2005
10.6.3Mobile phones targeted by viruses
10.7Market analysis – handset subsidies
10.7.1Unsustainable handset subsidies
10.7.2Several attempts to do away with subsidies
10.7.3Reintroduction forced by competition (2003)
10.8User demographics – 1998; 2000
Exhibit 1 – Mobile carriers and their key resellers
Exhibit 2 – Boost Tel
Exhibit 3 – MVNO models
Exhibit 4 – MVNO opportunities
Exhibit 5 – Crazy John’s billing problems
Exhibit 6 – Paul Budde’s case study from 2G to Next G
Exhibit 7 – Mobile Satellite Services
Exhibit 8 – Key customer considerations

Table 1 – Total mobile services market revenue and annual growth – 1993 - 2010*
Table 2 – Mobile services market revenue per major operator – 1993 - 2008*
Table 3 – Annual growth of mobile services market per major operator – 1994 - 2008*
Table 4 – Mobile services revenue market share per major operator – 1997 - 2008*
Table 5 – Average ARPU ($ per month) across all operators – 1993 - 2008
Table 6 – Blended ARPU ($ per month) by operator – 2003 - 2007
Table 7 – Blended ARPU by operator – annual growth – 2004 - 2007
Table 8 – Historical blended ARPU ($ per month) by operator – 1998 - 2002
Table 9 – Telstra prepaid, postpaid ARPU per month – 2004 - 2007
Table 10 – Telstra ARPU per month by network type – 2006 - 2007
Table 11 – Optus prepaid, postpaid and blended ARPU per month – 2004 - 2007
Table 12 – Vodafone prepaid, postpaid and blended ARPU per month – 2004 - 2007
Table 13 – Hutchison ARPU per month – 2004 - 2006
Table 14 – Hutchison 3G ARPU per month and annual change – December 2006
Table 15 – Hutchinson non-voice ARPU per month – 2004 - 2006
Table 16 – Mobile market subscribers, penetration and annual growth – 1986 - 2010**
Table 17 – Mobile subscribers by carrier – 1993 - 2008*
Table 18 - Mobile subscribers by 3G network operator - 2003 - 2008
Table 19 – Annual growth rate of mobile subscribers by carrier – 1993 - 2008*
Table 20 – Telstra – mobile subscribers by 2G/3G and annual change – 2006 - 2007
Table 21 – Telstra – mobile subscribers by prepaid/postpaid and annual change – 2006 - 2007
Table 22 – Telstra – wholesale subscribers by CDMA/GSM and annual change – 2006 - 2007
Table 23 – Mobile subscriber market share (%) by carrier – 1993 - 2008*
Table 24 – Revenue market share per market segment (corporate, SME, residential) – 1994 - 2007
Table 25 – GSM origination/termination revenue – 2001 - 2005
Table 26 – GSM origination/termination minutes of usage – 2001 - 2005
Table 27 – Distribution channels – 2006
Table 28 – Leading retailer outlets – 2006
Table 29 – Prepaid customers – 1998 - 2003
Table 30 – Market revenues prepaid – 1997 - 2007
Table 31 – Market share electronic payments of total prepaid – 2002 - 2009
Table 32 – Electronic payment market revenues – 2005
Table 33 – Electronic payment market revenues – 2007
Table 34 – Major electronic payment providers and their market share
Table 35 – Substitution forecasts – 2004 - 2010
Table 36 – Terrestrial mobile network coverage – 2002; 2006
Table 37 – Number of base stations by operator – 2007
Table 38 - Mobile subscribers by 3G network operator - 2003 - 2008
Table 39 - 2G, 3G ARPU per month comparison - 2006 - 2010
Table 40 – Mobile phone shipments – 2005 - 2007
Table 41 – 2006 Handset sales by technology
Table 42 – Average 2G mobile phone cost – 1986; 1993; 1998 - 2000; 2006
Table 43 – Mobile handset supplier market shares (digital) – 1999; 2001; 2003; 2005 - 2006
Table 44 – Mobile phones by family type – 1998; 2000
Table 45 – Mobile phones by household income – 1998; 2000
Table 46 – Mobile phones by state – 1998; 2000
Table 47 – Mobile phones metro versus regional – 1998; 2000

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Licence Information

Annual Publication Profile


Mobile & Wireless Broadband and Media
Mobile Communications (voice and infrastructure)
Strategies & Analyses (Industry & Markets)

Number of pages 130

Status Archived

Last updated 3 Sep 2007
Update History

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

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