2007 Australia - Telco Company Profiles - 2nd Tier Telcos

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Last updated: 21 Aug 2007 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 179

Analyst: Stephen McNamara

Publication Overview

For those needing detailed overviews and statistics as well as objective analysis on all aspects of the 2nd tier Australian companies, this report provides essential reading and gives in-depth information on:

  • Company overviews and structure.
  • Major divisions and subsidiaries.
  • Financial and operating statistics.
  • Marketing and financial analyses.
  • Network overviews.

Companies include; AAPT, Amcom, Austar, Commander Communications, Foxtel, Hutchison Australia, iiNet, Macquarie Telecom, Nextgen Networks, People Telecom, Primus, PowerTel, Soul (SP Telemedia), Unwired Australia and Vodafone.

Executive Summary


AAPT is Australia’s third largest telecommunications carrier offering local, national and international voice, data, mobile, pay TV and Internet services to business, corporate, government and residential customers. AAPT is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Telecom New Zealand and is one of only three Australian telecom providers to own and operate its own national voice and data network. For more information, see chapter 1, page 1


Amcom is a second-tier telecommunications carrier providing fibre, DSL broadband and Internet services to the corporate, government and SME markets. Amcom is one of the best placed telcos in the Australian market with excellent prospects for future growth and remains a well managed and focused business. For more information, see chapter 2, page 16.


Austar is Australia’s second largest subscription TV operator after Foxtel. The company offers primarily digital satellite services to customers in regional and rural areas. It also offers dial-up Internet and mobile telephone services. Austar is the sole provider of subscription television services in substantially all of its markets – regional and rural Australia, and the capital cities Hobart and Darwin. For more information, see chapter 3, page 27.

Commander Communications

Commander Communications is a business technology and communications provider. Commander was originally a reseller of business telephone systems, however through a series of partnerships and acquisitions it has expanded to provide a complete solutions spanning office and mobile telephony, IT hardware and software, Internet and network access, software licensing solutions, infrastructure and software solutions, managed services and strategic consulting services. For more information, see chapter 4, page 35.


Foxtel is Australia’s largest subscription television provider. Telstra holds a 50% ownership stake in Foxtel, while Publishing and Broadcast Limited and News Corporation Ltd both share a 25% stake in the company. It sub-licenses programming to other pay TV companies for cable, satellite and microwave distribution in regional Australia, including Optus and Austar. For more information, see chapter 5, page 51.

Hutchison Telecommunications Australia

Hutchison Telecommunications Australia launched Australia’s first 3G network and service – 3. Services include email, broadband and mobile web. 3 offers content through its portal Planet 3 including: live and on demand mobile TV, audio and video music tracks and other services such as news, sport, finance, weather, location based classifieds, movie previews, eBay and transport. For more information, see chapter 6, page 60.


iiNet is the third largest ISP in Australia, after the acquisition of OzEmail in February 2005. This followed a previous major acquisition of New Zealand-based ISP ihug. The company provides dial-up and broadband Internet access, including ADSL2+; web hosting, and VoIP services. or more information, see chapter 7, page 72.

Macquarie Telecom

Macquarie Telecom is a supplier of ICT for the business and government markets. It provides a range of voice, data, mobile and hosting solutions to over 3,000 corporate and government customers. Macquarie’s data business provides data networking and data hosting services to Australian business and government customers. Macquarie’s two key target markets are Australian mid-size corporates and the government sector. For more information, see chapter8, page 83.

Nextgen Networks

Nextgen Networks is a telecommunications carrier that specialises in data services for carriers, service providers, government and corporations. Nextgen owns and operates Australia’s 3rd largest national fibre network of over 8,500km, fibre rings and Co-Lo assets in all capital cites and an extensive National VPLS Switched Data Network. For more information, see chapter 9, page 90.

People Telecom

People Telecom provides a range of telecommunication products and services including voice (mobile and fixed), data (broadband and VPN), and VoIP products. People Telecom utilises its own national data network and other carrier networks, equipment suppliers and other providers, including Telstra, Optus, Powertel, Nextep and AAPT. For more information, see chapter 10, page 97.


PowerTel provides data, voice and Internet services to corporate, government and wholesale customers through its own fibre optic and DSL network. This includes last-mile FttB, providing access to customers in major city buildings, coupled with one of Australia’s largest DSL broadband networks. For more information, see chapter 11, page 104.

Primus Telecommunications Australia

Primus Telecommunications Australia is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Primus Telecommunications US. The company is a facilities-based total service provider offering local, domestic and international telephony, data, ADSL, ADSL2+, web hosting, VPNs and mobile services. For more information, see chapter 12, page 112.


Soul is a provider of IP telecommunications and multimedia services in the Australian marketplace. Services including voice, Internet and data solutions are provided to a customer base ranging from the consumer market through to the SME, corporate and government sectors. Soul has the largest data network and voice network after Telstra, the largest fully converged voice, video and data IP-based access network in regional Australia and the largest voice-enabled IP network. For more information, see chapter 13, page 121.


Unwired currently provides a type of proprietary pre-WiMAX wireless broadband Internet services to the residential, SOHO and SME markets, which have the ability to handle voice and data communications. The company uses technology developed by US-based Navini Networks. For more information, see chapter 14, page 136.

Vodafone Australia

Vodafone Australia is 100% owned by Vodafone Group Plc. It is now the third largest mobile carrier in Australia after Telstra and Optus. The company’s GSM network currently covers 93% of the Australian population. Vodafone’s 3G network provides customers with access to music, sports, games, news, music tracks, mobile TV, video calling and mobile broadband services. For more information, see chapter 15, page 145.

Key highlights

  • Commander has seen significant growth in uptake of managed and professional services following on from the integration of Volante.
  • In April 2007 Amcom completed the $6.25 million acquisition of People Telecom’s Perth-based corporate services business.
  • Foxtel is nearing the launch of a new hybrid set-top-box incorporating digital subscription television and broadband entertainment services, called Foxtel By Broadband service.
  • In May 2007 Telecom New Zealand officially acquired 100% of PowerTel, and both AAPT and PowerTel were combined under the same operating structure, although are continuing to operate under different brands.
  • Primus’ revenues from Australian operations during continue to slide. During 2007 and 2008, Primus will look at divesting non-core assets and outsourcing or centralising more of its back-office operations.
  • Following the sale of its media assets to PBL media in mid-2007, Soul will focus on its high growth telecommunications operations, multi-media capabilities and media infrastructure assets.
  • Unwired has now pushed back plans for a WiMAX rollout, possibly mid to late 2008, following its unsuccessful bid for Broadband Connect funding with Soul and Austar.
  • By July 2007 Vodafone had completed its HSDPA major upgrade to its 3G network.

Telstra and Optus are covered in a separate report.

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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