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Australia Telecoms Industry Report 2024-2031

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  • March 2024
  • Region: Australia
  • Idem Est Research
  • ID: 5750452

This report includes an overview of the Australian market dynamics, market sizing, market forecasts, analysis, insights and key trends.

Australia Telecoms Industry Report at a Glance

Globally, the telecommunications sector is proving to be a core and essential infrastructure service to national economies, with data infrastructure becoming critical in a connected world and will likely increasingly attract a new class of investors such as large infrastructure funds. The publisher expects the Australian telecommunications industry to remain steady thanks to the defensiveness nature of the industry, amid the uncertain economic outlook and inflationary pressure.

In 2023, telecoms trends inverted with mobile subscribers growing strongly while the fixed broadband market flattened with NBN losing customers for the first time.

Mobile subscriptions are forecast to grow at an annual average rate of 2.3% in 2024-31 and fixed broadband subscribers at an average rate of 1.4% over the same period. Total telecommunications revenue will reach AUD45 billion by 2031.

Telstra’s share of the telecommunications revenue pie has been declining over the last 5 years and its EBITDA share is declining even faster as Telstra’s dominance in the fixed-line market is challenged with the migration to the NBN.

Capex Investments

The Australia Telecoms Industry Report shows the capital expenditure (Capex) from telecommunications operators is coming off from an all-time peak between 2017 to 2018 due to the NBN investments in upgrading Australia’s fixed broadband infrastructure. The publisher expects Capex investments to remain sustained to accommodate for data usage growth, mobile coverage expansion and capacity improvements. NBN expects an increasing Capex spend from 2024 to bring 75% of its fixed-line footprint to 100Mbps speeds and above but excludes a clear plan to a gigabit speeds network upgrade to full-fibre. Instead, NBN will be required to continually invest in HFC and fixed wireless to increase capacity and accommodate more customers and higher data usage.

Investments in the telecoms sector bottomed out in 2021 and telecommunications service providers are expected to maintain growth momentum in 2024-31, to an average rate of 1.6% by 2031.

Mobile Subscribers and Revenue

The mobile subscriber market increased between 2017 and 2023 with Telstra and Optus growing their postpaid subscriber base and Telstra also increasing its MVNO and IoT subscribers significantly over the same period 2017-23 period. The publisher estimates the Australian mobile subscribers will increase on the back of population growth and Internet of Things subscribers take-up.

Mobile network operators are facing limited competitive pressure after the market shifting to unlimited voice and text and data allowance as the sole offering differentiator. Operators are now indexing their pricing to inflation allowing them to increase pricing.

Australia is now in the unfortunate position of being the only country in the developed world with a higher average mobile speed compared to fixed broadband as per Ookla speed tests.

The publisher expects 5G & 6G subscribers to represent 90% of all mobile subscribers by 2030.

Broadband Subscribers & the NBN

The publisher estimates the broadband subscribers growth will be sustained by household growth and a reduction of the number of underserved premises previously not able to connect now served by the Internet but now served by the NBN.

By 2023, the publisher forecasts most subscribers migrated to NBN broadband services with a few remaining ADSL services in fixed wireless and satellites services and a number of fibre premises provided by greenfield operators and in-fill operators supplying wholesale services on the same terms as NBN. Uniti,  other smaller greenfield operators and TPG are sharing the non-NBN market. The publisher forecasts Starlink will become the largest regional player in the country, edging out NBN over time by 2031.

Thematics - Fibre Sale / 6G / M&A

The arrival of 4G moved the Internet off our desktops into our palms and pockets, 5G could transform the network from something we carry around to something taking us around either virtually (augmented reality or virtual reality) or in reality (autonomous vehicles), the 5G outcome and benefits beyond fast connectivity remain largely unknown in terms of business models, investments required and timeline.

With 5G a reality now in Australia, telco operators can now do an arbitrage of NBN speeds in areas where the copper lines are very long or in poor health and thus offer a faster service over 5G than NBN at an equivalent price for some segments of the market and some geographies.

NBN is now well engaged in its FTTP upgrade program with 3.5m premises eligible for FTTP upgrade out of 8.6m including HFC which is not yet slated for a full-fibre upgrade.

At the current rate of FTTP upgrade adoption, it will take NBN about 20 years just to upgrade its existing FTTN and FTTC subscribers highlighting its on-demand fibre upgrade program requires an overhaul shift to a systematic upgrade of premises providing scale and reduced unit costs, as many FTTP programs have shown around the world.

This report shows subdued growth due to ARPU pressure compounded by margin pressure in the fixed broadband market is pushing telcos to look for outside opportunities to increase scale. The publisher expects another wave of consolidation in Australia, similar to the 2010-2015 period, post-NBN rollout as margins get squeezed further. Smaller NBN resellers will struggle to compete and sell out to larger operators. Some market players outside the telco market are seeking growth by exploring ways to increase their scope of products and services offerings. The report outlines examples of some newcomers branching out by reselling broadband access services as a churn reduction strategy and increasing consumers’ share of wallet.

Our Australia Telecoms Industry Report transactions database analysis highlights a resurgence of activity since 2020  and the market’s appetite for larger deals with the Vodafone/TPG merger, Uniti acquisition and the sale of mobile operators’ drawing interests from infrastructure investors for other fibre assets.

Why You Should Buy The Australia Telecoms Industry Report:

  • Benefit from the latest market opportunities
  • Understand the threats to your operations and investments and protect your company against future risks
  • Gain insight on emerging trends that could support, strengthen or disrupt your activities in the market
  • Get a full view of the competitive landscape to assess your market position.
  • Forecasts as a key input for successful budgeting and strategic business planning in the telecoms market
  • Target business opportunities and risks in the telecoms sector through our reviews of the latest industry trends, regulatory changes and major deals, projects and investments
  • Assess the activities, strategy and market position of your competitors, partners and clients via our Operators Profiles

Table of Contents

1 Key Statistics
1.1 Australia’s Population
1.2 Australia’s Economy
1.3 Australia’s GDP

2 Overall Telecommunications Market, 2017-2031
2.1 Market Overview
2.2 Australia’s Race to Lead in 5G and Beyond
2.3 Historical Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2017-2023
2.4 Overall Telecommunications Market Forecast, 2023-2031
2.5 Telecommunications Market Capital Expenditure, 2017-2031
2.5.1 Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2017-2031
2.5.2 Capex to Revenue Benchmark
2.5.3 Capex to GDP Benchmark
2.5.4 Telecommunications Capex Spend Forecast, 2023-2031

3 Telecommunications Operators Profile
3.1 Telstra Profile
3.1.1 Telstra Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.1.2 Telstra InfraCo
3.2 Optus Profile
3.2.1 Optus Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.3 TPG Telecom Group Profile
3.3.1 TPG Telecom Group and EBITDA Mix
3.3.2 Historical TPG Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.3.3 Vodafone Profile
3.3.4 Historical Vodafone Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.4 Vocus Profile
3.4.1 Vocus Revenue and EBITDA Mix
3.5 Aussie Broadband Profile
3.6 Superloop Profile
3.7 Uniti Profile
3.7.1 Uniti + Opticomm + Velocity

4 Australia Mobile market
4.1 Australia Mobile Subscribers Historical and Forecast, 2017-2031
4.1.1 Australia Mobile Subscribers Historical, 2017-2023
4.1.2 Australia Mobile Subscribers Market Share, 2017-2023
4.1.3 Australia Smartphone Share, 2023
4.1.4 Australia Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
4.1.5 Australia Mobile Subscribers by Generation Forecast, 2023-2031
4.2 Australia Mobile Revenue Historical and Forecast, 2016-2031
4.2.1 Historical Australia Mobile Revenue, 2017-2023
4.2.2 Australia Mobile Subscribers ARPU, 2017-2023
4.2.3 Australia Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2023-2031
4.3 Mobile Coverage
4.4 Spectrum Holdings
4.4.1 Spectrum Regulation
4.4.2 5G and Other Spectrum Auctions
4.4.3 Mobile Frequencies Portfolios Analysis
4.4.4 Spectrum Depth Benchmark by Country
4.5 Mobile Download Data and Pricing Trends
4.6 Mobile Speed Tests
4.6.1 Ookla Mobile Speed Tests
4.6.2 OpenSignal
4.7 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNO)
4.8 Internet of Things (IoT)

5 Broadband Market
5.1 Fixed Broadband Subscribers Historical, 2017-2023
5.2 Fixed Download Data Trends
5.3 Fixed Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031

6 Satellite Internet Connectivity
6.1 Comparing LEO, MEO, and GEO Satellite Orbits
6.1.1 LEO and GEO Satellite Comparison
6.2 Satellite Broadband Providers Operators, 2023
6.3 5G NTN: The Next Generation of Satellite Connectivity
6.3.1 5G NTN Overview
6.3.2 The Rationale Behind 5G NTN
6.3.3 Technical Aspects of 5G NTN
6.3.4 Potential Applications for 5G NTN
6.3.5 Challenges in Implementation
6.3.6 5G NTN Satellite Providers
6.4 Satellite Internet Market Analysis, 2023-2031
6.4.1 Market Landscape of Satellite Broadband Subscribers, 2023
6.5 Australia Satellite Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031

7 Fixed Telecommunications Infrastructure Investments
7.1 Fixed Digital Infrastructure
7.1.1 Overview of the National Broadband Network
7.1.2 NBN Scope
7.1.3 Legislative Framework for the NBN
7.1.4 Regulatory Framework
7.1.5 Wholesale Only & Uniform Pricing
7.1.6 NBN Industry Implications
7.1.7 NBN Implementation
7.1.8 NBN Financials - NBN Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2010-2023
7.1.9 NBN Market Share - 2023
7.1.10 NBN Build
7.1.11 NBN FTTP Upgrade Program - 20 Years to Go
7.1.12 NBN Speeds
7.1.1 NBN Speeds Mix Compared to New Zealand
7.1.2 $50bn Later and Australia is Still a Broadband Backwater
7.1.3 NBN Business Segment - Enterprise Product Threat and Opportunity
7.2 Fixed Broadband Networks Doing the Heavy Lifting
7.3 Submarine Cables

8 Australia Telecom Towers Infrastructure Landscape
8.1 Australia Telecom Towers Market Analysis, 2023
8.1.1 Australia Telecom Towers Market Overview
8.1.2 Australia Telecom Towers Background
8.2 Australia Telecom Towers & Rooftops Market Forecast
8.2.1 Australia Telecom Towers Forecast, 2023-2031
8.2.2 Regulatory Considerations
8.3 Telstra InfraCo (Amplitel)
8.3.1 Telstra InfraCo Towers Key Performance Indicators
8.4 Indara Digital Infrastructure Profile
8.4.1 Indara Key Performance Indicators
8.5 Waveconn Profile
8.5.1 Waveconn Key Performance Indicators
8.6 BAI Communications Profile
8.6.1 BAI Communications Key Performance Indicators

9 Thematics/Opportunities
9.1 Consolidation Opportunities
9.2 Diversification Opportunities
9.3 New Telecoms Operating Model
9.3.1 The Attraction of Infrastructure Multiples
9.4 6G Developments

10 Telco Transactions Database11 Methodology12 Copyright Notice
List of Figures
Figure 1 - Telco sector revenue as % of GDP in Australia
Figure 2 -Revenue Profile Historical Mix (AUD m), 2017 - 2023
Figure 3 -EBITDA Profile Historical Mix (AUD m), 2017 - 2023
Figure 4 - Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2023
Figure 5 - Telecommunications Market EBITDA, 2023
Figure 6 - Telecommunications Revenue & EBITDA Share, 2023
Figure 7 - Total Telecoms Market Revenue and Growth Rate (AUD bn), 2017-2031
Figure 8 - Capex to Revenue Benchmark, 2017-2023
Figure 9 - Capex to GDP Ratio Benchmark, 2017-2023
Figure 10 - Telecommunications Capital & Operational Expenditure Spend, 2000-2031
Figure 11 - Telstra Revenue Mix - 2017-2023
Figure 12 -Telstra EBITDA Mix (AUD m) - 2017-2023
Figure 13 - Telstra Historical Revenue Mix, 2017 - 2023 (AUD m)
Figure 14 - Optus Revenue Mix - 2017-2023 (AUD m)
Figure 15 - Optus Historical Revenue Mix, 2017-2023 (AUD m)
Figure 16 - TPG Telecom Group Revenue Profile, 2019-2023
Figure 17 - TPG Telecom Group Revenue Mix - 2019-2022 (AUD m)
Figure 18 - TPG Revenue Profile, 2014-2019
Figure 19 - Vodafone Revenue Profile, 2014-2019
Figure 20 - Australia Mobile Subscribers Share Comparison, 2017-2023
Figure 21 - Australia Mobile Subscriber Share Comparison, 2017-2023
Figure 22 - Mobile Net Adds (000’s) Comparison, 2017-2023
Figure 23 - Australia Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
Figure 24 - Mobile Subscribers by Generation Forecast, 2023-2031
Figure 25 - Mobile Subscribers ARPU (A$), 2017-2031
Figure 26 - Australia Mobile Revenue Forecast, 2017-2031
Figure 27 - Subscriptions per MHz of Spectrum, Select Asia-Pacific Countries, 2024
Figure 28 - Mobile Handsets Monthly Download Data, 2017-2023
Figure 29 - Data Pricing Trends in Asia-Pacific (US$ per GB per month), 2017-2023
Figure 30 - Asia Pacific Data Pricing Benchmark, 2023
Figure 31 - MVNO Share of the Mobile Market, 2023
Figure 32 - MVNO Subscribers (k), 2017-2023
Figure 33 - Spectrum Available and IoT Landscape in Australia
Figure 34 - Broadband Subscribers Share Comparison, 2017-2023
Figure 35 - Australia Net-Adds (000’s) by Operators, 2017-2023
Figure 36 - Fixed Broadband Monthly Download Data, 2008-2023
Figure 37 - Australia Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
Figure 38 - Satellite Deployments Type
Figure 39 -Starlink and OneWeb Satellite Launches per Month (Data until Jan-24)
Figure 40 -Australia Satellite Broadband Market Share, 2023
Figure 41 - Australia Satellite Broadband Subscribers (k) Forecast, 2023-2031
Figure 42 - NBN Architecture Overview
Figure 43 - NBN Corporate Plan Financials, 2010-2023
Figure 44 - NBN Subscribers Share -2023
Figure 45 - Broadband Migration to NBN Nearly Completed
Figure 46 - NBN homes Passed by Technology Forecast (k)
Figure 47 - NBN Corporate Plans (CP) Cash Flow Projections Comparison
Figure 48 - NBN Services by Speed
Figure 49 - UFB Services by Speed
Figure 50 - Ookla Speed Test Results (Mbps) - January 2024
Figure 51 - Volume of Data Downloaded (Terabytes/month), 2010-2023
Figure 52 - Wireless-Only Homes, 2014-2021
Figure 53 - Australia Telecom Towers Market Share, 2023
Figure 54 - Australia Telecom Towers & Rooftops Forecast, 2023-2031
Figure 55 - Telecoms Providers EV/EBITDA Ranges

List of Tables
Table 1 - Australia - Key Statistics
Table 2 - Telecommunications Market Revenue by Operators, 2017-2023
Table 3 - Total Telecommunications Market Revenue, 2023-2031
Table 4 - Historical Telecommunications Capex Spend, 2017-2023
Table 5 - Historical Telstra Revenue, EBITDA & Capex, 2017-2023
Table 6 - Telstra InfraCo Asset Portfolio, 2018-2020
Table 7 - Optus Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2017-2023
Table 8 - TPG Telecom Group Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2019-2023
Table 9 - TPG Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2014-2019
Table 10 - Vodafone Revenue and EBITDA Mix, 2014-2019
Table 11 - Vocus Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2017-2023
Table 12 - Aussie Broadband Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2018-2023
Table 13 - Superloop Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2017-2023
Table 14 - Uniti & Opticom Revenue, EBITDA and Capex, 2018-2021
Table 15 - Australia Historical Mobile Subscribers, 2017-2023
Table 16 - Australia Mobile Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 17 - Australia Mobile Subscribers by Generation (3G, 4G, 5G & 6G) Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 18 - Historical Mobile Service Revenue, 2017-2023
Table 19 - Historical Mobile ARPU, 2017-2023
Table 20 - Mobile Service Revenue Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 21 - Mobile Coverage & Reach - 2022
Table 22 - Historical of Spectrum Auctions and Costs
Table 23 - Spectrum Holdings by Operators and by Bands (MHz)
Table 24 - Mobile Frequencies by Operators and by Band (MHz)
Table 25 - Examples of MVNOs and their Wholesale Providers
Table 26 - Historical Broadband Subscribers, 2017-2023
Table 27 - Historical Broadband EBITDA Margin, 2017-2023
Table 28 - Historical Broadband ARPU, 2017-2023
Table 29 - Australia Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 30 - Satellite Orbit Altitudes
Table 31 - LEO and GEO Satellite Comparison
Table 31 - Satellite Broadband Subscribers Operators, 2023
Table 32 - 5G NTN and Satellite Providers, 2023
Table 33 - Australia Satellite Broadband Subscribers Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 34 - NBN Technology Mix
Table 35 - Telstra and Optus Estimated EBITDA Margin
Table 36 - Australia Business Broadband Segmentation, 2023
Table 37 - Volume of Data Downloaded Mix (Terabytes/month), 2010-2023
Table 38 - International Submarine Cable Systems with Landing Stations in Australia
Table 39 - Australia Telecom Towers Market Analysis, 2023
Table 40 - Australia Telecom Towers Indicative Tower Leasing Annual Fees
Table 41 - Australia Telecom Towers and Rooftops, Towers per Capita, Tower Revenue, Mobile Subscribers & Penetration and ARPU Forecast, 2023-2031
Table 42 -Telstra InfraCo Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2023
Table 43 -ATN Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2023
Table 44 - Waveconn Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2023
Table 45 - BAI Communications Towers Key Performance Indicators, 2023
Table 46 - Telco Transaction Database, 2015-2023



Companies Mentioned

  • AGL
  • Amplitel
  • Aussie Broadband
  • Exetel
  • Foxtel
  • Indara
  • IPstar
  • Kacific
  • NBN
  • Opticomm
  • Optus
  • Starlink
  • Superloop
  • Telstra
  • TPG
  • Uniti
  • Vocus
  • Vodafone
  • Waveconn


The publisher uses primary and secondary research as well as proprietary information sources to generate market analysis and forecasts for fixed and mobile services in terms of both subscribers and revenue. Interviews are conducted with key service providers in the region to determine current and potential market sizing as well as future service offerings. Information gathered through interviews is further cross-checked to validate the total market size.

The primary research is supplemented with a range of secondary source material, including related research, press releases, securities filings, media, Web-based materials, and trade publications.

Industry and population statistics are also leveraged for reference and to ensure consistency in the data collection. Extensive service provider primary and secondary research, together with the publisher's end-user research database, provides a strong basis for sizing and forecasting the market. The multiple reference points allow for validation of information provided by the service providers compared with that gathered from alternative sources.

Note: Forecasts are made in local currency, and no allowance is made for inflation. All numbers in this document may not be exact due to rounding.