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Australia - Mobile Broadband Market - Insights and Analysis

Publication Overview

This report provides data and analyses on Australia's developing mobile broadband market. It covers a wide range of subjects including the 3G and 4G sectors, smartphones and devices, mCommerce, mobile TV, mobile media platforms and mobile data services. The mobile broadband sector will continue to undergo significant transitions in coming years as the main network providers Vodafone, Optus and Telstra upgrade their networks and extend the reach of LTE services. This will dramatically increase the number of mobile subscribers able to tap into mobile broadband and mobile data services, with networks expecting to provide at least 98% population coverage with LTE by the end of 2016.

Topics covered include:

  • Mobile broadband - statistical overview;
  • Mobile broadband - forecasts,
  • Market issues;
  • Mobile media - statistics,
  • Providers, apps, portals and mobile TV;
  • Handset market - including smartphones.

Executive Summary

Near comprehensive LTE coverage by 2016 will maintain momentum in mobile broadband growth

Mobile Broadband: an important contributor to economic growth

The number of mobile broadband accesses has expanded steadily as users continue to add tablets, modems and phones as alternative communication methods. The sector is a dynamic contributor to the Australian economy, providing a range of productivity benefits. A growing proportion of mobile broadband subscribers is migrating from 3G to LTE. With Telstra and Optus having invested in 700MHz spectrum, the reach of their LTE services are set to increase substantially from 2015 when their spectrum allocations are made available. Near national coverage within a couple of years will see wider take-up from consumers.

Investments in LTE promise faster services

While the number of LTE subscribers grows rapidly, technological developments have also progressed. Telstra has proved its market lead, showcasing 450Mb/s capabilities for LTE by combining three channels. Vodafone's 1800MHz assets have also led the operator to emphasise the fast data downloads available on its network. Networks face daunting data demands from customers, and though they can at times be strained, the MNOs are responding by adding capabilities and applications in an effort to reduce their overall costings. Customer preference for WiFi from the home and workplace environments has meant that mobile broadband growth is mainly is this segment, with growth from dedicated data cards being far lower.

SMS services to come under regulatory scrutiny

Messaging services have provided steady revenue for MNOs, given that the charge to send messages is far higher than the transmission cost. The service remains popular, and though many bundles offer unlimited SMS it will be regulated in future after the ACCC found that negotiated wholesale price settlements among MNOs have been ineffective in bringing charges more in line to costs.

Smartphones and tablets facilitating mCommerce, accounting for high growth in mobile data

The use of these sophisticated devices in Australia continues to grow among consumers. Increasingly used as a preferred access point for the internet, they account for a growing proportion of data consumed in the mobile and WiFi environments. Smartphone penetration reached about 90% by mid-2014, while surveys have shown that about 60% of respondents have a tablet. These figures will increase steadily into 2015 and 2016 as a greater number of competitively priced units hit the market, and as the reach of LTE networks widen.

This report provides statistics and an analysis of trends in the Australian mobile broadband and mobile data markets. It details developments in the handset market, as well as mobile device recycling, and provides analysis on a range of mobile technologies. It offers commentary and analysis on network developments from the three MNOs as they adjust their investment strategies to accommodate consumer demand for bandwidth-rich services. The report provides valuable market statistics, industry estimates and forecasts, analyses of key market trends and an assessment of a number of recent and relevant market surveys.

Key developments:

Optus and Telstra aiming for 98.5% population coverage with LTE by end-2016; Vodafone LTE customer growth following Double Data offer; iiNet initiates LTE mobile plans; government encourages public engagement through mobile platform; Telstra trials LTE-A CA to deliver data at up to 450Mb/s; WiFi tethering among customers holds back growth in dedicated mobile broadband data cards; updated market developments.

Companies covered in this report include:

Optus, Telstra, NBN Co, VHA, TPG, Vodafone, Huawei, BigAir, vividwireless, Unwired, Ericsson, EnergyAustralia, SingTel, Apple, Nokia, BlackBerry, HTC, Google, Samsung, Mobile Muster, Motorola.

Data in this report is the latest available at the time of preparation and may not be for the current year

Table of Contents

1. Market Insights, Statistical Overview and Forecasts

  • 1.1 Market overview
  • 1.2 Uptake in 4G adds to mobile broadband users
  • 1.3 Mobile data and messaging exceeds voice revenues
  • 1.4 Globalgig hotspot local and international data roaming
  • 1.5 Capital expenditure builds into the future
  • 1.6 Overview of 4G frequency usage
  • 1.7 Spectrum reallocations
  • 1.8 Hardware drives applications
  • 1.9 Mobile broadband to drive structural change
  • 1.10 Mobile broadband slowly substitutes fixed services.
  • 1.11 The economic impact of mobile broadband
  • 1.12 Mobile broadband market statistics
    • 1.12.1 Mobile broadband subscribers
    • 1.12.2 Mobile broadband revenues
    • 1.12.3 Fixed wireless broadband market
  • 1.13 Forecasts and other developments
    • 1.13.1 Mobile advertising
    • 1.13.2 M-payment services
    • 1.13.3 M-banking
    • 1.13.4 Mobile broadband boom the killer app for FttP
    • 1.13.5 Fixed/mobile call market
    • 1.13.6 Revenue forecasts

2. LTE Developments and Roll Outs

  • 2.1 High-speed mobile networks
    • 2.1.1 High-speed packet access (HSPA)
    • 2.1.2 Long-term Evolution (LTE)
  • 2.2 Australian mobile broadband operators
    • 2.2.1 Optus
    • 2.2.2 Telstra
    • 2.2.3 Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA)
  • 2.3 Mobile broadband market
    • 2.3.1 Overview and analysis
    • 2.3.2 Data growth
    • 2.3.3 Mobile industry gets some spectrum certainty
    • 2.3.4 Neutral broadband connections for HSPA
    • 2.3.5 Will LTE steal the broadband revolution?
  • 2.4 Mobile broadband
    • 2.4.1 Applications overview
    • 2.4.2 Government moving to mobile engagement

3. SMS Overview and Statistics

  • 3.1 Background information on SMS
  • 3.2 Regulatory measures
  • 3.3 SMS market overview
    • 3.3.1 Mobile network operators -- a brief look
    • 3.3.2 Forecasts and analysis
    • 3.3.3 SMS versus instant messaging
    • 3.3.4 SMS regulation
    • 3.3.5 Reporting spam SMS
    • 3.3.6 SMS technology not safe
  • 3.4 Overview of SMS services in Australia
    • 3.4.1 Background information
    • 3.4.2 SMS advertising
    • 3.4.3 Business SMS
  • 3.5 Usage statistics
    • 3.5.1 Analysis of market trends
    • 3.5.2 Statistical trends

4. Mobile Media

  • 4.1 Market and Industry -- Surveys & Statistics
    • 4.1.1 Recent surveys
    • 4.1.2 Australian Mobile Phone Lifestyle Index
    • 4.1.3 Mobile data observations
    • 4.1.4 Mobile data and average revenue per user (ARPU)
  • 4.2 Overview of Key Providers
    • 4.2.1 Mobile operators
    • 4.2.2 Service providers
  • 4.3 PSMS Portals and Apps
    • 4.3.1 Market analysis
    • 4.3.2 Is SMS technology safe
    • 4.3.3 Will social messaging end SMS revenue
    • 4.3.4 Smart phone apps market
    • 4.3.5 Consumer protection
    • 4.3.6 Key players in the premium rate SMS (PSMS) market
    • 4.3.7 PSMS revenues
  • 4.4 Mobile TV
    • 4.4.1 What is mobile TV?
    • 4.4.2 Market overview and analysis
    • 4.4.3 Cloud-based mobile TV
    • 4.4.4 Major players
    • 4.4.5 Regulation
    • 4.4.6 Technology platforms

5. Digital Economy -- E-Banking

  • 5.1 The banking sector
  • 5.2 Trends and Developments
    • 5.2.1 Cashless Australia
    • 5.2.2 M-banking
  • 5.3 Market Analyses
    • 5.3.1 Banks were slow of the mark
    • 5.3.2 Innovation remains a problem for the banks
    • 5.3.3 Digital economy will affect bank fees
  • 5.4 Trends and developments in mobile payments
    • 5.4.1 Push for universal mobile payments system
    • 5.4.2 E-payment trends -- HP-RFI Report 2014
  • 5.5 Near Field Communications (NFC)
    • 5.5.1 Trends in cash payments
    • 5.5.2 Wireless 'wave payments'
    • 5.5.3 FLASHiZ
  • 5.6 Projects and Services
    • 5.6.1 Commonwealth Bank of Australia (CBA)
    • 5.6.2 Australia and New Zealand Bank (ANZ)
    • 5.6.3 Westpac
    • 5.6.4 St George Bank
    • 5.6.5 NAB
    • 5.6.6 MasterCard
    • 5.6.7 Visa
    • 5.6.8 Smartphone to access ATMs
    • 5.6.9 PayPal
    • 5.6.10 mHITs
    • 5.6.11 NoQ
    • 5.6.12 Mint Wireless
    • 5.6.13 Optus m-wallet trial
    • 5.6.14 Eftpos
  • 5.7 The taxi booking and payment market
    • 5.7.1 Breaking the taxi monopoly
    • 5.7.2 Taxi booking apps

6. Smartphone, Tablet and Handset Market

  • 6.1 Market overview
    • 6.1.1 Trends in mobile handset market
    • 6.1.2 4G market increasing
    • 6.1.3 Telstra's T-Hub 2 -- moving fixed-line customers to the future NBN
  • 6.2 Predictions into 2014 and beyond
    • 6.2.1 Smartphone data usage increasing
    • 6.2.2 Tablets and e-readers
  • 6.3 Smartphone, tablet and handset statistics
    • 6.3.1 Shipments
    • 6.3.2 Handset recycling
    • 6.3.3 Handset supplier market shares
    • 6.3.4 Smartphones and internet usage
    • 6.3.5 Tablet sales thriving
  • 6.4 Analysis
    • 6.4.1 Mobile vendors set to lose the proprietary battle
    • 6.4.2 Mid-tier mobile phones to decline
  • 6.5 Market surveys
    • 6.5.1 Overview
    • 6.5.2 Smartphones outgrow mobile market
    • 6.5.3 Smartphones lead to higher data spend
    • 6.5.4 Smartphone users are action buyers
    • 6.5.5 Tablet usage increases
    • 6.5.6 Android remains the favoured operating system
  • 6.6 The future of the smartphone market
    • 6.6.1 Hardware becomes a utility platform
    • 6.6.2 Platform for innovation and industry transformation
    • 6.6.3 Breaking into new markets
    • 6.6.4 Who will dominate the WiFi market?
    • 6.6.5 Conclusion
  • Table 1 -- Wireless broadband subscribers by access type -- 2009 - 2014
  • Table 2 -- Mobile broadband subscribers by mobile network operator -- 2007 - 2013
  • Table 3 -- Estimated mobile broadband data downloaded in Petabytes -- 2007 - 2013; 2015
  • Table 4 -- Estimated mobile broadband revenues and annual change -- 2007 - 2015
  • Table 5 -- Mobile broadband monthly ARPU -- 2007 - 2015
  • Table 6 -- Fixed wireless broadband subscribers by major operator -- 2008 - 2013
  • Table 7 -- Forecast mobile broadband and voice revenues -- 2008; 2013; 2018
  • Table 8 -- Average 3G mobile broadband speed data in Australia -- 2008 - 2014
  • Table 9 -- Telstra 4G / LTE devices -- voice versus mobile broadband -- 2011 - 2013
  • Table 10 -- Average 4G mobile broadband speed data in Australia -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 11 -- Estimated numbers of SMS sent -- 2003 - 20014
  • Table 12 -- Number of Telstra sent SMSs -- 2005 - 2013
  • Table 13 -- MMS and SMS numbers SMS sent (historical) -- 2008 - 2011
  • Table 14 -- Customer satisfaction with mobile provider services -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 15 -- Mobile phone brand ownership -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 16 -- Use of mobile phones by service -- 2011 - 2013
  • Table 17 -- Use of information services -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 18 -- Tablet use of services -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 19 -- Mobile data downloaded versus mobile subscribers -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 20 -- Telstra mobile ARPU -- 2009 -- 2013
  • Table 21 -- Telstra mobile prepaid and postpaid revenue -- 2008 -- 2013
  • Table 22 -- Optus mobile revenue -- 2013 -- 2014
  • Table 23 -- Vodafone Australia revenue -- 2009 - 2013
  • Table 24 -- HTA key metrics -- financial overview -- 2009 - 2013
  • Table 25 -- Telstra SMS traffic -- 2009 - 2014
  • Table 26 -- Jumbuck key financial performance indicators --2009 - 2013
  • Table 27 -- Jumbuck earnings per share (EPS) --2009 - 2013
  • Table 28 -- Jumbuck Revenue by market location --2012 - 2013
  • Table 29 -- Mnemon key financial performance indicators -- FY2012 - FY2013
  • Table 30 -- Mobile Embrace key financial performance indicators -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 31 -- Mobi.moki key financial performance indicators -- H1 FY2014
  • Table 32 -- Mobi.moki key financial performance indicators -- 2010 - 2014
  • Table 33 -- Enero (Photon Group) -- key financial parameters -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 34 -- Weekly app usage by selected demographic -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 35 -- App usage by selected demographic -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 36 -- Weekly app usage by selected demographic -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 37 -- Estimated app market revenue -- 2009 - 2015
  • Table 38 -- Users who pay for mobile applications by app type -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 39 -- Type of apps used -- 2011 - 2013
  • Table 40 -- Typical charge for paid apps -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 41 -- Mobile premium service complaints by major provider -- 2010 - 2012
  • Table 42 -- Estimated revenues -- PSMS market -- 2004 - 2014
  • Table 43 -- Rapid uptake -- September 2011 -- March 2014
  • Table 44 -- Internet connections via mobile handsets -- 2009 - 2013
  • Table 45 -- Australian handset shipments (historic) -- 2004 - 2008
  • Table 46 -- Australian handset shipments -- 2009 - 2014
  • Table 47 -- Key recycling indicators -- Mobile Muster -- 2006 - 2013
  • Table 48 --Australian handset brand market share -- major suppliers -- 2008 - 2013
  • Table 49 -- Australian 3G handset market (historic) -- by major operator -- 2008 - 2010
  • Table 50 -- Use of advanced phone features -- % of mobile user accesses of rich media/smartphone features - 2013
  • Table 51 -- Top 5 uses of mobile internet -- 2009 - 2013
  • Table 52 -- Estimated tablet users -- 2010 - 2012; 2015 - 2016
  • Table 53 -- Low-end, mid-tier and high-end mobile device markets -- percentage of units sold -- 2007; 2013.
  • Table 54 -- Apps info and payment plan data -- 2009 - 2013
  • Table 55 -- Monthly phone spend on services -- 2010 - 2013
  • Table 56 -- Types of use on smartphones -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 57 -- Typical selected usage pattern of a tablet user -- 2012 - 2013
  • Table 58 -- Estimated Australian platform market share -- 2008 - 2013
  • Chart 1 -- Overview of mobile broadband subscribers by mobile network operator -- 2007 - 2013
  • Chart 2 -- Overview of estimated mobile broadband data downloaded in petabytes -- 2007 - 2013; 2015
  • Chart 3 -- Overview of average 3G mobile broadband speeds -- 2008 - 2014
  • Chart 4 -- Overview of Telstra 4G / LTE devices -- voice versus mobile broadband -- 2011 - 2013
  • Chart 5 -- Overview of average 4G mobile broadband speeds -- 2010 - 2013
  • Chart 6 -- Overview of use of technology by seniors -- 2011 - 2012
  • Chart 7 -- Overview of Vodafone Australia revenue -- 2009 - 2013
  • Chart 8 -- Overview of HTA financial metrics -- 2009 - 2013
  • Chart 9 -- Overview of Mobile Embrace key financial performance indicators -- 2010 - 2013
  • Chart 10 -- Overview of Mobi.moki key financial performance indicators -- 2010 - 2013
  • Chart 11 -- Overview of PSMS revenue mix of downloads
  • Chart 12 -- Overview of Australian handset shipments -- 2009 - 2014
  • Chart 13 -- Overview of tonnes of mobile equipment collected versus public awareness -- 2006 - 2013
  • Chart 14 -- Overview of the trends of the top five uses of mobile internet -- 2009 - 2013
  • Exhibit 1 -- Key issues for mobility industry
  • Exhibit 2 -- Some background information on Planet 3
  • Exhibit 3 -- MOKO.mobi at a glance -- 2014
  • Exhibit 4 -- Overview of Mobi-moki subsidiary companies -- 2014
  • Exhibit 5 -- Enero at a glance -- 2013
  • Exhibit 6 -- Background information on Information Dialling Services (IDS)
  • Exhibit 7 -- 5th Finger -- historical company background information
  • Exhibit 8 -- An overview of Gemalto
  • Exhibit 9 -- Key national and major smaller players in the PSMS market
  • Exhibit 10 -- Overview of the now defunct cloud- based mobile TV services
  • Exhibit 11 -- Background information on the defunct Optus TV Now service
  • Exhibit 12 -- Examples of Mobile TV technologies
  • Exhibit 13 -- Broadcast Australia DVB-H trials -- 2005 - 2009
  • Exhibit 14 -- PayPal SMB Statistics -- 2013
  • Exhibit 15 -- Overview of Q-Jumper and Easy Canteen by mHITs
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