Australia - Mobile Communications - Mobile Network Operators and MNVOs

Synopsis

The Australian mobile market is dominated by the three major mobile network operators Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone (VHA), though there are numerous MVNOs which have a significant market share. These have been able to offer LTE services on a wholesale basis since early 2016, thus encouraging growth in the LTE sector and cementing the role which MVNOs play in the overall market.

Operators provide a full range of services essential for commerce as well as communication and social networking. Voice services remain a staple for revenue, though in terms of revenue share voice is steadily losing ground to various forms of mobile data. Data services themselves have evolved from basic SMS messaging to encompass high-end applications including gaming and m-commerce. Although mobile penetration was about 146% in 2017, it continues to rise as users make use of multiple SIM cards and connected devices. Under competitive pressure, MNOs must find innovative business models and services, and provide attractive bundles to increase revenue.

Mobile broadband usage in particular has taken off during the last few years, a trend which will continue in the wake of the marketing of a wide range of affordable and more capable devices, and of LTE population coverage which by 2017 had reached about 98%.

To address poor services in rural areas, the government in June 2015 announced the first of two Mobile Black Spot Programs, funded by the federal and state governments as well as by the two commissioned MNOs Telstra and Vodafone. Deployment for the second round will start in 2017, and the work to deploy several hundred new or upgraded base stations is expected to be completed by 2018.

In 2017 MNVO Amaysim announced the launch of its NBN products. It has an ambitious goal to generate customer ARPUs of as much as $200 per month via a bundle of NBN.

This report evaluates the strategies and performances of network operators, including financial and operational data. It also reviews the main MVNOs and presents an industry overview as well as data and analysis on the trends and key developments in these maturing markets.

Key developments:

Ovo Mobile enters the MVNO market; Kogan mobile launches NBN products, analysis on mobile user productivity; reports growth in revenue and subscribers into 2017; updates on 2G, 3G, LTE, WCDMA, HSDPA and HSUPA technologies; high churn rate favouring MVNOs with sound business models; MNOs launch VoLTE services; telcos’ financial and operating updates, recent market developments and analyses.

Companies mentioned in this report:

MeU Mobile; Amaysim, Woolworths, Crazy Johns, JB HiFi, Telstra, Optus, VHA, Hutchison Australia, 3, NBN, Virgin Mobile, Vodafone, Aldi Mobile; Huawei, Lebara, AAPT, Kogan Mobile, GRLmobile, Red Bull Mobile, Macquarie Telecom, Boost Tel, Pivotel, Globalstar.

Table of Contents

  • 1. Synopsis
  • 2. Mobile Ecosystem Structure
  • 3. Subscriber statistics
  • 4. Market Analyses and Emerging Trends
    • 4.1 The rise of mobile data Services
    • 4.2 Intensifying market competition
    • 4.3 Cutting the fixed-line cord
  • 5. Industry overview
    • 5.1 International Comparisons
    • 5.2 Mobile coverage black spots
    • 5.3 Roaming
    • 5.4 Mobile technology boosts productivity
  • 6. Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
    • 6.1 Telstra
      • 6.1.1 Overview
      • 6.1.2 Mobile Network
    • 6.2 Optus
      • 6.2.1 Overview
      • 6.2.2 Mobile Network
    • 6.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
  • 7. Network technologies
    • 7.1 HSPA-based services
    • 7.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
    • 7.3 2G services
  • 8. Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
    • 8.1 Market Definition
    • 8.2 Market overview
    • 8.3 Background developments in the MVNO market
    • 8.4 Amaysim
    • 8.5 Kogan Mobile
    • 8.6 Aldi Mobile
    • 8.7 Ovo Mobile
    • 8.8 Lebara Mobile
    • 8.9 Virgin Mobile
    • 8.10 Woolworths Mobile
    • 8.11 MeU Mobile
  • 9. Closed MNVOs
    • 9.1 Red Bull Mobile
  • 10. Mobile resellers
    • 10.1 Background information
    • 10.2 Resellers on the Telstra network
    • 10.3 Resellers on the Optus network
    • 10.4 Resellers on the Vodafone network
  • 11. Mobile retailers (separate report)
  • 12. Related reports
  • Table 1 – Mobile subscribers, penetration rate and annual change – 2000 - 2017
  • Table 2 – Total mobile services market revenue and annual change – 2010 – 2017
  • Table 3 – Mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 4 – Mobile-only phone users – 2010 - 2016
  • Table 5 – GSMA mobile connectivity markers (top five countries) – 2016
  • Table 6 – Telstra - overview of mobile subscribers – 2008 - 2016
  • Table 7 – Optus revenue – 2012 - 2017
  • Table 8 – Optus mobile revenue – 2013 - 2017
  • Table 9 – Optus mobile pre/postpaid and mobile broadband customers (thousands) – 2008 - 2017
  • Table 10 – Vodafone Australia revenue – 2009 - 2016
  • Table 11 – VHA financial data – 2014 - 2016
  • Table 12 – Vodafone – subscribers by type – 2009 – 2016
  • Table 13 – VHA MVNO customers – 2014 – 2016
  • Table 14 – Retail Mobile subscribers share by MNO and MVNO – 2013 – 2015
  • Table 15 – Retail mobile subscriber market share by MNO and MVNO - 2015 - 2016
  • Table 16 – Amaysim Mobile subscribers and subscriber churn – 2015 - 2017
  • Chart 1 – Mobile market subscribers, penetration rate and annual change – 2005 - 2017
  • Chart 2 – Mobile subscriber gains and losses by MNO – 2010 – 2016
  • Chart 3 – Optus mobile pre/postpaid customers – 2008 – 2017
  • Exhibit 1 – The initial analogue operators – brief historic background
  • Exhibit 2 – MVNO models
  • Exhibit 3 – MVNO opportunities
  • Exhibit 4 – Examples of key MVNO customer segments
  • Exhibit 5 – Mobile carriers and selected resellers and MVNEs

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