2013 Australia - Telco Company Profiles - Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

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Last updated: 18 Dec 2013 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 118

Analyst: Paul Budde

Publication Overview

In this report we provide overviews of Telstra, Optus and Vodafone, with analysis by BuddeComm, commentary, including statistics in tabular and easy-to-read chart formats.

The 2nd Tier Telcos are covered in a separate report - Australia - Telco Company Profiles - 2nd Tier

Researchers:- Paul Budde, Henry Lancaster
Current publication date:- December 2013 (19th Edition)

Executive Summary

Telstra remains the top dog in the market

The key payers

The total telecoms service market is segmented according to the major providers Telstra, Optus, Vodafone, as well as a number of other market providers. Detailed revenue, statistics are included separately for Telstra, Optus and Vodafone for the current and previous financial years.

Telstra continues to dominate the overall Australian telecom market with about 60% market share of overall revenue in 2013. This market share has been falling steadily since the highs that it held in the early 2000s, of around 80%.


Telstra is Australia’s largest telecommunications provider offering a full range of telecom services throughout Australia. The company provides basic access services to most homes and businesses, local and long-distance telephone call services, and mobile and internet services including just 3.5 million broadband subscribers and over 15 million mobile telephony subscribers. In 2014 Telstra is expected to continue attracting a large number of 4G LTE mobile broadband customers, taking advantage of its wider network footprint than its competitors.

Wholesale services are also provided to ISPs and RSPs while advertising and subscription television services are provided through subsidiary companies. Several strategic investments undertaken in FY2013 have strengthened Telstra’s position in the e-health services market.

Telstra’s financial results have continued to follow a pattern common among major telcos in this fast changing market, wherein revenue from mobile voice and data services offsets declining revenue from the fixed-line voice sector. The diversification of Telstra’s business means that fixed-line voice in FY2013 accounted for less than 17% of total revenue. The company is also increasingly indebted to its international operations, particularly those in Asia.

This report provides an overview of Telstra’s main areas of operation including its strategic business units and local and international subsidiaries. It also includes analysis of the company’s three-pillar strategy to be implemented during 2014. In addition, the report provides key operating statistics related to network and operations data, traffic, and developments in the mobile, broadband and pay TV sectors, as well as an overview of its position related to NGN developments.


Optus provides a range of communications services that include mobile, national and long-distance services, local and international telephony, business network services, internet and satellite services, subscription TV and digital media services.

The company is aiming to expand its customer base through offering new services including MeTV, an IPTV service with FetchTV. It has expanded mobile coverage in Tasmania, is refarming 2G to 3G, has launched 4G services and has signed an agreement providing interim satellite services with the National Broadband Network. These new and additional services will allow Optus to gain new subscribers across its coverage areas and extend their availability to more remote and regional communities.

The number of wireless broadband subscribers continues to grow rapidly, delivering higher data revenue. BuddeComm believes that given market saturation the rate of growth for these returns will slowly diminish. The takeover of Vividwireless from Seven Media boosted the amount of 4G spectrum available, increased the number of subscribers and consolidated market share in markets where Vividwireless operates. The restaurant review company Eatability purchased by the company in mid-2012 will add a digital media and content service flavour to Optus.

In this report we provide an overview of the main divisions within Optus, including a breakdown of key financial and operating statistics for internet, broadband, voice, The Open Network (mobile) services. Data for the first quarter of 2014 is included.

Vodafone Australia

Vodafone is the third-largest mobile carrier in Australia, being formed as a 50/50 joint venture in 2009 following the merger of Vodafone Australia and Hutchison 3G Australia. The two equal shareholders of Vodafone are the Vodafone Group and Hutchison 3G Australia. Hutchison Whampoa remains the majority shareholder of Hutchison Telecoms, with an 88% stake.

Vodafone owns and operates the mobile brands of Vodafone, 3 and Crazy John’s, and offers a comprehensive suite of prepaid and postpaid mobile voice and mobile data products to both consumer and business customers. MVNO services are also provided to other telecommunication service providers. During 2013 a number of Crazy John’s stores were closed in a cost cutting exercise, with the remainder later branded as Vodafone stores. From late 2011, ‘3’ stopped taking new customers, and in August 2013 the brand was dissolved, with all customers having to migrate to Vodafone to retain services. The ‘3’ stores have also been rebranded as Vodafone.

Network upgrades continue and new sites are being added across Australia as the company ramps up its investment in infrastructure in a bid to retain customers. In 2013 the operator launched LTE services, being able to compete with Optus and Telstra in this market which has tremendous growth potential. These upgrades and new towers have also delivered improved quality bandwidth required to keep up with consumer demand for mobile broadband, and to address the shortcomings which has been disastrous for the company since 2011: despite recent network improvements, customer losses have continued into late 2013.

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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