The telecommunications market in Australia is in its maturity stage with falling average revenue per user (ARPU) and single digit growth, but the high-value service market is an evolving one with strong growth potential in 2013.
At Frost & Sullivan’s ICT outlook briefing 2013 held in Sydney today, Andrew Milroy, Vice President, ICT Practice, Frost & Sullivan Asia Pacific said that by the end of 2012, there will be around 30.5 million mobile subscribers in the market, with a penetration rate of 133% and a user penetration of more than 100%. In the near term, competition between mobile operators is set to further intensify, resulting in lower mobile call charges for customers leading to ARPU decline.
Increasing smartphone adoption and faster network implementation are continuing to drive a shift in focus from traditional voice services to more data-oriented services. "With 3G domination in the market and recent introduction of faster 4G speeds, the user experience of wireless broadband is set to improve."
Milroy said,"The Australian mobile market is very much data-oriented and data-intensive and the high ARPU, strong uptake of 3G, high smartphone penetration and wide post-paid mobile subscribers make it ideal for advanced data services - so growth opportunities are still present and broadband is the direction to focus on."
The 3G market share stands at more than 70.0% in 2012 and by 2016, 100 percent of all subscribers will be on 3G/4G networks. This will give rise to opportunities with new services as evidenced by operators like Telstra & Vodafone already strongly focused on promoting new services including content, M2M etc. 4G speeds will improve user experience of wireless broadband; Telstra has already launched its 4G services whilst Optus has launched its LTE services.
"With the rising 3G uptake, the data percentage of ARPU has also been rising; with data contributing 49% of ARPU in 2012. The trend is expected to continue as consumer demand for wireless broadband and data provision services are expected to boost data ARPU. By 2016, the data percentage of ARPU is expected to reach 61%" Milroy said.
Opportunities abound in the data intensive applications for consumer value added services in new areas such as content aggregation, safety/security, video, mobile, online games, M2M and mobile healthcare, stated Milroy.
He added that although the heaviest users of mobile services use an iPhone, and Apple is the leading platform by value, Android is the leading mobile OS; low priced Android handsets by Samsung & other players have made Android extremely successful in Australia.
"4G LTE service provider, NTT DoCoMo and the National Broadband Network’s introduction of their services have facilitated this shift in emphasis on new services. New emerging services include M-Payments, M2M and M-security, which exude significant potential though still very immature. The way forward is to provide market relevant services that drive consumer demand and give consumers perceived value" said Milroy.
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