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More than 19.2 million Australians now have a mobile phone according to researcher IDC. This has some interesting implications for competition in the market as providers will now have to try to get people to sign up for more than one SIM card, or starting pinching customers from each other if they want to grow.

By the end of this year, 19.2 million Australians will use mobile phones, says IDC, a 7.4 percent hike on last year’s figures. Already, the IT research company says that every Australian who can possibly use a mobile phone is doing so. This milestone, referred to as “natural saturation,” was achieved some time last year according to IDC.

“By exceeding ‘natural saturation,’ the industry is entering a new phase of competition characterised by market maturity, forcing carriers to reposition and further differentiate themselves,” says Warren Chaisatien, mobile & wireless research manager for IDC Australia. His report, called No Strings Attached: Australian Cellular Forecast and Analysis, 2004-2009, also predicts that:

 

  • Mobile service revenue will grow at 8.4 percent to $8.7 billion this year.
  • Growth over the next five years mainly will come from 3G users, who will
    make up five percent of Australia’s mobile user base this year. In 2009,
    IDC says 3G users will account for one in three of all mobile phone users.
  • Non-voice revenue will jump from 18 percent of carrier revenues this year to
    29 percent in 2009.
  • Non-voice revenues are expected to top $2 billion after 2006, when 3G
    services become commonplace.
  • By the end of 2008, mobile devices will enjoy a penetration rate of 100 percent.

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