2017 Australia - Telco Company Profiles - 2nd Tier

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Last updated: 15 Nov 2017 Update History

Report Status: Archived

Report Pages: 135

Analyst: Phil Harpur

Publication Overview

This report provides an overview of the main 2nd tier telcos in Australia, including key financial and operational data as well an analysis on company strategies in response to market developments and an intensifying competitive environment.

The companies profiled in this report are  Foxtel, Vocus - M2,  TPG Telecom (iiNet), Macquarie Telecom.

There is a separate report that covers: Australia - Telco Company Profiles - Telstra, Optus and Vodafone

Researchers:- Phil Harpur
Current publication date:- November 2017 (23rd Edition)

Executive Summary

Vocus and TPG continue to challenge Telstra and Optus

TPG Telecom Limited acquired local ISP iiNet. TPG is now Australia's second-biggest provider of fixed-line broadband in Australia with over 1.7 million customers. Services including voice, internet and data solutions are provided to a customer base ranging from the consumer market through to small and medium enterprises, corporate and government sectors. The company also owns a cloud-hosting company and the PIPE network infrastructure that includes the third largest domestic dark-fibre operation and the submarine cable network to Guam, Asia and the United States.

The company is delivering an extensive Fibre-to-the-Basement (FttB) service to apartment buildings in capital cities, offering broadband at 100Mb/s at a price which undercuts existing offers from rival ISPs. TPG has also secured spectrum in the 2.5GHz band to bolster its wireless broadband capabilities, and has committed to investing in additional capacity on the subsea cable linking to New Zealand and the US West Coast.

The company 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. TPG created a new retail arm to sell its wholesale fibre-to-the-basement product to residential customers.

In 2017 TPG made a bold move to become the fourth mobile operator in Australia. Initial sites are targeted for mid 2018.

Vocus is an Australian based telecommunications provider with offices in Australia and New Zealand. Its services include co-location, internet, voice, fibre and ethernet services. Vocus merged with M2 Communications and acquired Amcom. Vocus also acquired Nextgen Networks and its 17,000km fibre network linking major cities and regional centres.

The Vocus / Merger with M2 creates Australia's fourth-largest telecommunications company and the third-largest in New Zealand. Vocus’ acquisition of Nextgen Networks will seriously lift its position as an infrastructure based telco. The acquisition is the next and perhaps final part of the company’s strategic plan that has also seen his firm expand geographically with the previous acquisition of Amcom and FX Networks, and diversify into the consumer space via its merger with M2.

While the TPG/iiNet merger brought two similar companies together, and as such potentially reduced the number of players in the market, the Vocus/M2 combination brings two different companies together – one operating in the business market and one operating in the retail market. This will allow the companies to share resources and attract better deals from the various ICT (wholesale) providers they do business with.

Macquarie Telecom is an integrated telco providing a full range of hosting, data, voice and mobile services to the business and government market. It also offers a range of cloud services including security, storage, backup-as-a-service and virtual hosting / data centre services.

Foxtel is the largest subscription television provider in Australia. Foxtel will continue to see declining ARPU as the proportion of its pay TV customers decline due to the migration to other Subscription Video On Demand (SVOD) providers which have much lower ARPU.

Foxtel has also moved into the SVOD arena in an effort to increase subscriber availability options. Although there has been steady growth in subscription TV services, in coming years customer viewing on the platform will have been greatly changed following the launch of services by OTT providers such as Stan and Netflix as well as SVOD options being marketed by FTA broadcasters.

The launch of a bundled service of broadband, telephony and STV via the NBN presents a major shift in the services that the company can provide for the consumer market. BuddeComm sees this as an important catch-up move to compete with the other ISPs that also provide bundled services.

Key developments:

  • TPG is delivering an extensive FttB service to apartment buildings in capital cities.
  • In 2017 TPG made a bold move to become the fourth mobile operator in Australia.
  • During 2017 Vocus has been struggling despite strong growth over the past few years.
  • Foxtel has moved into the SVOD arena in an effort to increase subscriber availability options.

Key companies mentioned in this report:

TPG Telecom, iiNet, AAPT, B Digital, Pipe Networks, Soul, Comindico, FOXTEL, AUSTAR, Optus, News Corporation, Telstra, Macquarie Corporate Telecommunications, Macquarie Telecom, Vodafone

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