2010 Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics and Forecasts

Publication Overview

BuddeComm’s Australia - Mobile Communications - Statistics and Forecasts annual publication provides information and insight into the mobile communications sector in Australia with a particular reference to mobile voice services. It provides analysis of high-level revenue, market shares and revenue growth, as well as revenue earned from mobile voice and mobile data services.

Researcher:- Paul Budde
Current publication date:- September 2010 (10th Edition)
Next publication date:- September 2011

Executive Summary

Competition for customers driving consumer charges and ARPU lower in 2010-11

The Mobile Market Moving into 2011

In 2011 the mobile communications market in Australia, as in other developed economies, will see 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 and RIM, which facilitate a wide range of data applications and services. However the winner in 2011 will be the handsets based on the Google Android operating system.

Competition is set to intensify between mobile operators, resulting in lower mobile call charges for customers. Telstra has indicated that the gloves are off and that it will vigorously defend its position in the market. This will most likely produce a continued decrease in mobile prices. Furthermore, more customers will reduce their use of fixed-line voice and data services in favour of mobile services.

However over the next five years competition and commoditisation will lead to lower ARPUs.

Industry Overview

Operators are now seeking to provide more services in what has become a saturated market in an effort to increase revenues. The introduction of new hardware and apps such as wireless broadband has become increasingly popular. The three major operators in this area are Telstra, Optus, and VHA which has a relatively small portion of the market.

The arrival of the iPhone has forced the industry to change: rather than controlling the apps market, it has become a broadband infrastructure facilitator. This has created a new growth area in the industry which is based more on infrastructure than on apps or services. Further changes are expected with the industry moving forward into mobile broadband territory.

Subscriber Statistics

There are significantly more mobile services than people in Australia. Despite subscriber penetration rates being between 110% and 115% of the population, growth is likely to continue for the foreseeable future though the overall rate of growth may slow slightly. Growth is being driven by population increases and a rise in the number of people using two mobile subscriptions – one for personal and one for business use.

Australian operators are likely to have more than 25 million mobile subscribers in 2011 as migration and business adoption continue to drive growth. Growth in the number of services has also been boosted in Australia in 2009 by the effective use of economic stimulus. Telstra continues to dominate the market with more than ten million subscribers, Optus has around eight million and VHA has roughly seven million subscribers.

Revenue Overview and Statistics

Total mobile services revenue earned by the major mobile operators in the financial year to 2010 continued to grow, but at a slower rate than the growth seen in 2008/09. This may reflect price competition from the merged Vodafone/Hutchison business.

Between 2010 and 2012 revenue growth is expected to be influenced by the following three major factors. The broader economic environment is perhaps the largest influence and economic growth in 2011 and 2012 could well be subdued in Australia. Revenue growth will also be impacted because of price competition, especially in light of the merger between Vodafone and Hutchison (3) in Australia to form VHA. The extent to which new telephony services are developed will influence the pace of revenue growth.

However, it is also possible that strong adoption of new smartphones and data devices (Apple’s iPhone, which has sparked device competition in the smartphone market, and the iPad device) could drive continued growth, particularly in data services, which may offset other factors.

Retail Market

The mobile retail market is rapidly becoming more significant as the use of mobile devices extends well and truly beyond traditional voice and SMS. Retailers are becoming the focus point for interaction with customers, many of whom have individual needs which require a higher level of customer service.

The non-specialist retail market such as food stores and petrol stations are catering for the prepaid market, while the specialised retailers are catering for a rapidly increasing postpaid market. These have now stabilised after a margin squeeze during the 2000s.

Handset Market

The handset market in Australia has seen a shift towards other vendors such as HTC and Apple as the smart phone sector takes off. This sector has previously been dominated by Nokia with its total market share of around 40%, but it still dominates in the low end of the market. In mid-2010 the iPhone 4 was released in Australia.

The charge in mobile broadband usage is being led by smart phones as telcos drop data charges and more users access the internet using a mobile, many for the first time. The initial release of iPhone started the trend, and with competition from the Android operating system the smart phone market will continue to build.

Market highlights:

  • The industry as a whole will earn around more than $15 billion in revenue from mobile services - a growth rate of nearly 7% year-on-year. Mobile services now represent considerably more than 50% of overall industry revenues in Australia;
  • Sales volumes in the handset market will continue to drop as at mid-2010 sales are 17% lower than 2009 figures, however BuddeComm predicts that iPhone sales will increase in 2010/11 to much higher than in previous years;
  • Mobile broadband growth has been extremely rapid since late 2007 and this will also be the main feature of 2011;
  • Total mobile services revenue is expected to be above $15 billion in 2011, a growth rate of around 10%;
  • In the 2010 financial year, Telstra’s mobile service revenue passed $6.4 billion, with Optus at $4.7 billion. VHA, the entity created with the merger of Vodafone and Hutchison, generating revenue close to $4 billion.

Please note that while this publication does discuss mobile data to a degree, it is predominantly focussed on mobile voice services. Mobile data is focussed on in a separate annual publication: Australia - Mobile Broadband Market, which is available from the BuddeComm website see Australia - Mobile Data for further details.

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. The Market Moving Into 2011
    • 1.1 Operator overview
      • 1.1.1 Telstra
      • 1.1.2 Optus
      • 1.1.3 VHA
      • 1.1.4 MVNOs
      • 1.1.5 Mobile retailers
    • 1.2 Key trends and developments
      • 1.2.1 Mobile broadband
      • 1.2.2 Mobile voice
      • 1.2.3 Prepaid still a strong market force
      • 1.2.4 But also a reverse trend from prepaid to postpaid
      • 1.2.5 Interconnection rates key to mobile competition
      • 1.2.6 National roaming
      • 1.2.7 Mobile content
      • 1.2.8 IP telemetry
  • 2. Industry Overview
    • 2.1 Market update
    • 2.2 Network operators
      • 2.2.1 Telstra
      • 2.2.2 SingTel Optus
      • 2.2.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
    • 2.3 Network technologies
      • 2.3.1 HSPA-based services
      • 2.3.2 Long-term evolution (LTE)
      • 2.3.3 2G services (historic)
    • 2.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
      • 2.4.1 Overview
      • 2.4.2 Other developments in the MVNO market
      • 2.4.3 Virgin Mobile (now Optus)
      • 2.4.4 Woolworths
      • 2.4.5 Macquarie Telecom
      • 2.4.6 GRLmobile
      • 2.4.7 Lebara Mobile
    • 2.5 Mobile resellers
      • 2.5.1 Background information
      • 2.5.2 Resellers on the Telstra network
      • 2.5.3 Resellers on the Optus network
      • 2.5.4 Resellers on the Vodafone network
    • 2.6 Mobile Virtual Network Enablers (MVNEs)
      • 2.6.1 Background information
      • 2.6.2 ComTel Corporation (Formerly CommodiTel Limited)
  • 3. Subscriber Statistics
    • 3.1 Sources
    • 3.2 Mobile subscriber statistics
      • 3.2.1 Total subscribers and annual growth rates
      • 3.2.2 Operator market shares and growth
      • 3.2.3 2G and 3G subscribers
      • 3.2.4 Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator
      • 3.2.5 Wholesale market
  • 4. Revenue Overview and Statistics
    • 4.1 Total mobile services revenue and forecasts
    • 4.2 Operator statistics
      • 4.2.1 Background
      • 4.2.2 Revenue per major operator
      • 4.2.3 Revenue growth
      • 4.2.4 Revenue share
      • 4.2.5 Revenue by service
      • 4.2.6 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • 5. Spectrum Overview
    • 5.1 Overview
    • 5.2 Spectrum regulations
      • 5.2.1 Australian Radiofrequency Plan
      • 5.2.2 ACMA five-year outlook, 2010
      • 5.2.3 Regulatory issues
      • 5.2.4 Fifteen-year spectrum licence pathway
      • 5.2.5 Spectrum issue – more to it than meets the eye (analysis)
    • 5.3 Spectrum-based services
      • 5.3.1 Mobile services
      • 5.3.2 WiMAX wireless services
      • 5.3.3 Ultra-Wideband services (UWB)
      • 5.3.4 Mobile satellite services
      • 5.3.5 DECT services
    • 5.4 Spectrum ownership and licences
      • 5.4.1 Apparatus licences
      • 5.4.2 Unlicensed spectrum (IMS)
  • 6. 3G Infrastructure
    • 6.1 Network operators
      • 6.1.1 Telstra
      • 6.1.2 Optus
      • 6.1.3 VHA
    • 6.2 Mobile sites infrastructure
      • 6.2.1 Overview and statistics
      • 6.2.2 Crown Castle
    • 6.3 Infrastructure analysis
      • 6.3.1 Structural separation and open networks
      • 6.3.2 Squeezed out of the content markets
      • 6.3.3 Mobile broadband market
  • 7. Retail Market
    • 7.1 The mobile retail market in 2010
      • 7.1.1 Major retail categories
      • 7.1.2 Retail margins
      • 7.1.3 Retail revenues
      • 7.1.4 Consolidation
      • 7.1.5 Reverse trend from prepaid to postpaid
      • 7.1.6 Wireless broadband
      • 7.1.7 Superior customer care
      • 7.1.8 Replacement market
    • 7.2 Major mobile retail companies
      • 7.2.1 Vertically integrated operators
      • 7.2.2 Independents retailing services exclusively for mobile operators
      • 7.2.3 Independents retailing services for a variety of network operators
    • 7.3 Analysis of the market in 2009 and 2010
      • 7.3.1 Impact of the financial crisis on the retail market in Australia
      • 7.3.2 Emerging retail models for independent operators
      • 7.3.3 Retail margins likely to remain under pressure
  • 8. Handset Market
    • 8.1 Market overview – 2010
      • 8.1.1 Trends in mobile handset market
      • 8.1.2 Service provider-driven market
      • 8.1.3 Replacement market
    • 8.2 Historical overview
      • 8.2.1 Summary of activity in 2009
      • 8.2.2 Summary of activity in 2008
    • 8.3 Handset statistics
      • 8.3.1 Shipments
      • 8.3.2 Handset recycling
      • 8.3.3 Handset supplier market shares
    • 8.4 Analysis
      • 8.4.1 Overview
      • 8.4.2 Apple and Google – hijacking the mobile operators
      • 8.4.3 Mobile vendors set to lose the proprietary battle
      • 8.4.4 Mid-tier mobile phones to decline
      • 8.4.5 Rise of smart phones
    • 8.5 Market surveys
      • 8.5.1 Overview
      • 8.5.2 Australian Interactive Media Industry Association (AIMIA) survey on mobile phone ownership and usage – 2009
  • 9. Mobile Satellite Services
    • 9.1 Introduction
    • 9.2 Public subsidies and regulation
      • 9.2.1 Overview
      • 9.2.2 Mobile satellite service band plan
      • 9.2.3 Mobile satellite phone subsidies
    • 9.3 Major operators
      • 9.3.1 Telstra
      • 9.3.2 Optus
      • 9.3.3 Pivotal Group
      • 9.3.4 VIX QuikTrak
      • 9.3.5 Other providers
      • 9.3.6 FedSat – Australia’s low earth orbit satellite (historic)
    • 9.4 Usage and revenue estimates
      • 9.4.1 Background information
      • 9.4.2 Revenue
  • 10. Glossary of Abbreviations
  • Table 1 – Estimated proportion of mobile service revenue from voice and data – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 2 – Total mobile voice revenue per major operator – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 3 – Mobile voice revenue per major operator as a proportion of total mobile services revenue – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 4 – Total mobile data revenue per major operator – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 5 – Growth mobile data revenue per major operator – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 6 – Total mobile messaging revenue per major operator – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 7 – Total mobile data (non-messaging) revenue per major operator – 2007 - 2010
  • Table 8 – Growth in mobile data (non-messaging) revenue per major operator – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 9 – Blended ARPU per month per major operator – 2000 - 2010
  • Table 10 – Blended ARPU per month per major operator – annual change – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 11 – Postpaid ARPU per month – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 12 – Prepaid ARPU per month – Telstra, Optus and Vodafone – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 13 – Mobile data ARPU per month – Telstra and Hutchison – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 14 – Telstra 2G versus 3G subscriber ARPU per month – 2006 - 2009
  • Table 15 – Number of outlets by state for select retailers – 2010
  • Table 16 – Seasonal comparison – Australian shipments per quarter as a proportion of annual shipments – 2004 - 2010
  • Table 17 – Change in Australian shipments per quarter – seasonally adjusted – 2005 - 2010
  • Table 18 – Key recycling indicators – Mobile Muster – 2006 - 2010
  • Table 19 – Estimated Australian handset supplier market share – major suppliers – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 20 – Handset supplier worldwide market share – top five suppliers – 2008 - 2010
  • Table 21 – Low-end, mid-tier and high-end mobile device markets – percentage of units sold – 2007; 2013.
  • Table 22 – Content usage accessed in the last 12 months by type – 2007 - 2009
  • Chart SEQ Chart 1 – Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change – 1995 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 2 – Mobile subscribers by carrier – 1995 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 3 – Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier – 1995 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 4 – Mobile subscriber market share by operator – 1995 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 5 – 3G mobile subscribers by carrier – 2003 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 6 – Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier – 2007 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 7 – Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier – 2006 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 8 – 2G mobile subscribers by carrier – 2006 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 9 – Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier – 2007 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 10 – Prepaid subscribers per operator – 2006 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 11 – Prepaid subscribers - market share by operator – 2006 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 12 – Number of mobile phone services in operation - prepaid and postpaid – 2006 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 13 – Wholesale subscribers - Telstra and Optus – 2006 - 2009
  • Chart SEQ Chart 14 – Total mobile services market revenue and annual change – 1993 - 2012
  • Chart SEQ Chart 15 – Mobile services market revenue per major operator – 1994 - 2012
  • Chart SEQ Chart 16 – Annual change of mobile services market per major operator – 1994 - 2012
  • Chart SEQ Chart 17 – Mobile services revenue share per major operator – 2000 - 2012
  • Chart SEQ Chart 18 – Estimated number of base stations by operator – 2009
  • Chart SEQ Chart 19 – Estimated market share of leading retailers – 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 20 – Australian handset shipments – 2004 - 2011
  • Chart SEQ Chart 21 – Seasonal comparison – Australian shipments per quarter – 2004 – 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 22 – Estimate of mobile phones recycled at Mobile Muster collection points – 2001 - 2010
  • Chart SEQ Chart 23 – Estimate mobile satellite users – 2007 - 2011
  • Chart SEQ Chart 24 – Optus satellite revenue – 2007 - 2011
  • Exhibit 1 – MVNO models
  • Exhibit 2 – MVNO opportunities
  • Exhibit 3 – Mobile carriers and selected MVNOs
  • Exhibit 4 – Examples of key MVNO customer segments
  • Exhibit 5 – Mobile carriers and selected resellers and MVNEs
  • Exhibit 6 – Boost Tel 2010
  • Exhibit 7 – Allocations for wireless access services (WAS) – 2009
  • Exhibit 8 – Mobile spectrum by operator in capital city and regional area
  • Exhibit 9 – GSM services by operator
  • Exhibit 10 – WCDMA services by operator
  • Exhibit 11 – Ownership of selected frequencies for WiMAX services

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Annual Publication Profile

Technologies

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

Number of pages 105

Status Archived

Last updated 8 Sep 2010
Update History

Analyst: Paul Budde

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