This report provides data and analysis on a range of mobile technologies in Australia, as well as an assessment of network developments.
It assesses the prospects for operators as they extend their LTE deployments beyond the major urban areas and deeper into rural areas, and invest in prototype 5G technologies in preparation for deployments anticipated from 2020.
The report contains a range of key statistics in the mobile market, operator strategies and emerging technologies.
In addition, the report assesses operator revenue and ARPU and details the development of the prepaid and contract subscriber bases for each Mobile Network (MNO) as well as a market forecast.
The handset and smartphone markets are covered, as well as MNOs’ financial and operational data and an overview of their network.
This report also provides an overview of the mobile broadband market in Australia, including updated statistics, industry estimates and analyses of key market trends.
An overview of the Australian spectrum market is also covered.
5G represents the next evolution in mobile technologies. It is expected to support an immense increase in data rates, at 1Gb/s and higher, reduce latency and enable networks to connect a vast number of devices. 5G is only one element of a larger ecosystem that includes broadband access, Internet of Things (IoT), M2M, cloud computing, data centres and data analytics. Only when 5G is deployed within that broader ecosystem will operators be able to reap the benefits of this new technology.
Australia’s mobile network operators continued to work towards the launch of 5G, laying foundations for the next-generation network and continued to develop and enhance their existing 4G networks on the upgrade pathway to 5G.
Australia is predicted to be one of the top four of markets that will drive the growth of 5G in Asia, which is projected to become the world’s largest 5G market by 2025, as networks are rolled out in urban areas and handset vendors integrate 5G chipsets into mobile devices.
In August 2018 Telstra switched on 5G-capable sites on the Gold Coast, which enable it to test 5G pre-commercial devices in real world conditions and use innovations like its Connected Car to test its 5G footprint. It will enable Telstra to connect compatible commercial 5G devices for customers in 5G areas as they become available.
5G devices are expected to arrive in 2019 and 5G services in Australia are scheduled to be launched from 2020.
The auction of unused spectrum in the 1800MHz band further improved the ability of MVNOs to extend their LTE services, while proposals by the ACMA to release spectrum in a range of bands through to 2024 should see strong growth in the areas of 5G and IoT.
This report provides an overview of the mobile broadband market in Australia, statistics and analyses of key market trends. It also provides data and analysis on a range of mobile technologies in Australia, an overview of the smartphone, tablet and handset market as well as an overview of the mobile spectrum market.
In common with most mature markets, in Australia there are significantly more subscribers to mobile services than there are people. Australia’s mobile market is now highly mature and developed with slow annual subscriber growth rates since 2013. Mobile penetration is now well over 100%.
Growth is being driven by population increases as well as a rise in the number of people using two or mobile subscriptions - commonly one is for personal use and another for business use.
Very slow growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023 with penetration rates predicted to rise only slightly above projected population increase.
Revenue for mobile operators in recent years has been characterised by the continuing take up of services based on LTE technology, and to the rising proportion of mobile data to overall revenue.
By 2018, competition among operators is having a braking effect on ARPU however ARPU growth from mobile data services going forward is offsetting declines in voice ARPU. Pricing competition and market saturation is eroding voice revenue, while the continued substitution of cheaper OTT services for mobile SMS messages and the SMS is also eroding SMS revenue.
For all operators, price competition combined with a focus on managing their mobile businesses as they adapt to new technologies being brought into play, have led to considerable pressure in recent years.
All three Australian mobile operators are now investing billions of dollars in their networks annually, with a view to securing new customers and retaining existing ones. Increasingly, consumers are looking to mobile communications for their broadband needs.
- Australia’s mobile network operators continue to work towards the launch of 5G.
- Australia is predicted to be one of the top four of markets that will drive the growth of 5G in Asia.
- 5G connections are predicted to account for around 50-60% of total connections by 2025.
- Competition among operators is having a braking effect on ARPU.
- Very slow mobile subscriber growth is predicted over the next five years to 2023.
- All three Australian mobile operators are now investing billions of dollars in their networks annually.
1. Mobile infrastructure and mobile broadband
1.1 Mobile broadband
1.1.1 Market analysis
1.1.2 Mobile broadband statistics
1.2 Mobile infrastructure
1.2.2 4G (LTE)
1.2.3 3G based services
1.2.4 2G services
1.2.6 Small cell technology
1.3 Smartphones, tablet and handsets
1.3.1 Smartphone adoption trends
1.3.2 Smartphone usage statistics
1.3.3 Smartphone and tablet shipments
1.3.4 Handset supplier market shares
1.3.6 Wearables and smartwatches
1.4 Mobile Spectrum overview
1.4.1 Spectrum ownership and licences
1.4.2 Fifteen-year spectrum licence pathway
1.4.3 Additional spectrum - 5G
1.5 Mobile spectrum auctions
1.5.1 800MHz and 1.8GHz auctions
1.5.2 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results Auctions
1.5.3 4G Auctions - 2016
1.5.4 Residual spectrum auction - 2017
1.5.5 700 MHz spectrum auction 2017
2. Mobile subscribers, revenues and forecasts
2.1 Mobile subscriber statistics
2.1.1 Total mobile subscribers and market forecast
2.1.2 Mobile operator - subscriber market shares and growth
2.1.3 Prepaid and postpaid subscribers by operator
2.1.4 2G, 3G and 4G subscribers
2.1.5 Wholesale market
2.1.6 International comparisons
2.2 Mobile services revenues, forecast and market analysis
2.3 Operator revenue statistics overview
2.3.1 Revenue by major operator
2.3.2 Revenue market share and trends by operator
2.3.3 Revenue trends by service
2.4 Average revenue per user (ARPU)
2.4.1 Overview of ARPU
2.4.2 Blended ARPU
2.4.3 Prepaid and postpaid ARPU
3. Mobile network operators and MVNOs
3.1 Mobile operator ecosystem structure
3.2 Market analyses
3.2.1 The rise of mobile data services
3.3 Mobile Network Operators (MNOs)
3.3.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
3.4 Mobile Virtual Network Operators (MVNOs)
3.4.1 Market definition
3.4.2 Market overview
3.4.3 Market statistics
3.4.4 Historical overview
3.4.6 Kogan Mobile
3.4.7 Aldi Mobile
3.4.8 Ovo Mobile
3.4.9 Lebara Mobile
3.4.10 Boost Mobile
3.4.12 Virgin Mobile
3.4.13 Woolworths Mobile
3.4.14 MeU Mobile
3.5 Closed MVNOs
3.5.1 Red Bull Mobile
3.6 Mobile resellers
3.6.1 Background information
3.6.2 Resellers on the Telstra network
3.6.3 Resellers on the Optus network
3.6.4 Resellers on the Vodafone network
List of Tables
Table 1 - Wireless broadband subscribers by access type - 2009 - 2018
Table 2 - Mobile broadband subscribers by mobile network operator - 2007 - 2018
Table 3 - Estimated mobile broadband data downloaded in Petabytes - 2009 - 2018
Table 4 - Proportion of people using smartphones for internet access - 2012 - 2017
Table 5 - Internet connections via mobile handsets - 2011 - 2018
Table 6 - Use of mobile phones and ownership of smartphones - 2013 - 2017
Table 7 - Percentage of Australians mobile-only / no fixed-line telephone at home 2013 - 2017
Table 8 - Historic - Australian handset shipments (historic) - 2004 - 2016
Table 9 - Australian handset platform market share - 2018
Table 10 - Historic - Australian handset brand market share - major suppliers - 2010 - 2014
Table 11 - Historic - Estimated tablet users - 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
Table 12 - Historic - Tablet market share by manufacturer - 2014 - 2015
Exhibit 6 - Expiring spectrum allocation timetable - 2015 - 2028
Table 13 - Spectrum charges for spectrum bandwidth licenses
Table 14 - 1.8GHz spectrum auction results - 2016
Table 15 - 700MHz and 2.5GHz auction results - 2013
Table 16- 1800MHz auction results - February 2016
Table 17 - Mobile subscribers, penetration and annual change (with forecast) - 2000 - 2023
Table 18 - Mobile subscribers (millions) by MNO (with forecast) - 2009 - 2020
Table 19 - Annual change of mobile subscribers by MNO - 2010 - 2020
Table 20 - Market share of mobile subscribers by MNO (with forecast) - 2010 - 2020
Table 21 - Historic - Retail mobile subscriber market share by MNO and MVNO - 2015 - 2016
Table 22 - Historic - Annual change of mobile subscribers by carrier - 1995; 1997; 2000 - 2009
Table 23 - MNO prepaid subscribers (millions) by operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 24 - MNO market share of prepaid subscribers - 2009 - 2018
Table 25 - MNO postpaid subscribers (millions) by operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 26 - MNO market share of postpaid subscribers - 2009 - 2018
Table 27 - MNO total market of prepaid and postpaid subscribers (millions) - 2009 - 2018
Table 28 - MNO total market proportion of prepaid and postpaid subscribers - 2009 - 2018
Table 29 - Prepaid as % of Total Subscribers by operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 30 - Postpaid as % of Total Subscribers by operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 31 - Historic - Share of postpaid subscribers by MNO and MVNO - 2014 - 2015
Table 32 - Historic Share of prepaid subscribers by MNO and MVNO - 2014 - 2015
Table 33 - Historic - 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2003 - 2011
Table 34 - Historic - Proportion of 3G mobile subscribers versus total subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
Table 35 - Historic - Annual change of 3G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2007 - 2011
Table 36 - Historic - 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
Table 37 - Historic - Annual change of 2G mobile subscribers by carrier - 2006 - 2011
Table 38 - Telstra wholesale subscribers - 2007 - 2018
Table 39 - Vodafone wholesale (MVNO) subscribers - 2014 - 2016
Table 40 - Total mobile services market revenue and annual change (with forecast) - 2005 - 2020
Table 41 - Historic - Total mobile services market revenue and annual change - 1993 - 2009
Table 42 - Mobile market revenue per major operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 43 - Mobile market revenue market share per major operator - 2009 - 2018
Table 44 - Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator - 2005 - 2018
Table 45 - Historic - Mobile market revenue per major operator - 1993 - 2004
Table 46 - Historic - Annual change of mobile market revenue per major operator - 1994; 1997; 2000 - 2004
Table 47 - Total telecoms revenues by major providers - 2005 - 2014
Table 48 - Mobile market share in revenue per major operator - 2000 - 2018
Table 49 - Telstra mobile broadband revenue - 2009 - 2018
Table 50 - Blended monthly ARPU by MNO - 2000 - 2017
Table 51 - Telstra mobile ARPU - prepaid, postpaid, mobile broadband - 2004 - 2018
Table 52 - Optus mobile subscriber - Monthly ARPU - 2009 - 2018
Table 53 - VHA Monthly ARPU - 2015- 2018
Table 54 - Telstra Group - Top Line Annual Financial Results - 2005 - 2018
Table 55 - Telstra Group - Revenue ($billion) by Product Segment and Annual Change - 2017 - 2018
Table 56 - Telstra mobile prepaid and postpaid revenue - 2008 - 2018
Table 57 - Telstra mobile services revenue - 2009 - 2018
Table 58 - Telstra mobile ARPU - prepaid, postpaid, mobile broadband - 2004 - 2018
Table 59 - Telstra - Mobile Subscribers (millions) by prepaid, postpaid, wholesale - 2008 - 2018
Table 60 - Optus Group - Financial Results by Consumer Segment - 2014 - 2018
Table 61 - Optus mobile revenue - 2009 - 2018
Table 62 - Optus - mobile subscribers and annual change - 2005 - 2018
Table 63 - Optus -mobile pre/postpaid and mobile broadband customers (thousands) - 2008 - 2018
Table 64 - Optus mobile subscriber - Monthly ARPU - 2009 - 2018
Table 65 - Historic - Optus mobile subscribers, annual change - 1998 - 2004
Table 66 - Vodafone Australia revenue - 2009 - 2018
Table 67 - VHA Monthly ARPU - 2015 - 2018
Table 68 - Historic - HTA key metrics - 2009 - 2015
Table 69 - Historic - Monthly ARPU and by segment - 2009 - 2012
Table 70 - Historic - Vodafone Australia revenue - 1996; 1998 - 2008
Table 71 - Vodafone Australia (Group) - subscribers (millions) by type - 2009 - 2018
Table 72 - Historic - VHA MVNO customers - 2014 - 2016
Table 73 - Retail Mobile subscribers share by MNO and MVNO - 2016 - 2017
Table 74 - Historic - Retail Mobile subscribers share by MNO and MVNO - 2013 - 2015
Table 75 - Retail mobile subscriber market share by MNO and MVNO - 2015 - 2016
Table 76 - Amaysim Mobile subscribers and subscriber churn - 2015 - 2017
List of Charts
Chart 1 - Historic - PC, desktop and Mobile Device Ownership - 2016
Chart 2 - Mobile subscribers and penetration (with forecast) - 2007 - 2023
Chart 3 - Market share of mobile subscribers by MNO (with forecast) - 2009 - 2020
Chart 4 - MNO market share of prepaid subscribers - 2009 - 2018
Chart 5 - MNO market share of postpaid subscribers - 2009 - 2018
Chart 6 - Total mobile services market revenue and annual change (with forecast) - 2010 - 2020
Chart 7 - Overview of mobile revenue share per major operator - 2010 - 2018
Chart 8 - Optus - mobile subscribers and annual change - 2001 - 2018
List of Exhibits
Exhibit 1 - The initial analogue operators - brief historic background
Exhibit 2 - Mobile spectrum by operator in capital city and regional area
Exhibit 3 - GSM services by operator
Exhibit 4 - WCDMA services by operator
Exhibit 5 - Ownership of selected frequencies for 2.3GHz and 3.4GHz services
Exhibit 7 - MVNO models
Exhibit 8 - Australian MVNOs Mobile carriers - 2018
Exhibit 9 - Mobile carriers and selected resellers and MVNEs