A recent market research has revealed that the local mobile services industry grew strongly in the first six months of 2009 despite the ongoing recession.
According to Telstyle’s research report entitled “Australian Mobile Services Market, June 2009 Update & 2009-2013 Forecast,” one million new mobile users has been added, taking the total number to 24.5 million or 113% of the population.
Serving one in four mobile users, the newly formed VHA (Vodafone Hutchison Australia) was neck-and-neck with Optus in terms of revenue, and became a strong number-two player in the high-average revenue per user (ARPU) 3G segment.
Telstra boasted the industry’s highest 3G user base and non-voice revenue mix, at almost 40 percent of its total revenue pool, while Optus displayed its resilience through an almost 50 percent expansion in its 3G user number. Although diluted by Vodafone’s 2G business, VHA enjoyed an industry-leading ARPU of $47.5.
Telstyle’s Research Director, Warren Chaisatien said, “Mobile broadband, the rapid migration of 2G to 3G, and the Apple iPhone were notable contributors that drove half-year service revenue to enjoy double-digit annual growth.”
“All players, including MVNOs as a group, experienced a year-on-year ARPU rise, thanks to Australians’ growing love affair with non-voice services, which now make up well over one-third of their mobile bills,” added Chaisatien.
The first half of this year also witnessed a larger role by MVNOs following a slew of non-traditional MVNOs jumping on the mobile broadband bandwagon. The most notable new entrant was Woolworths, currently focusing on prepaid voice with prepaid mobile broadband on the horizon.
With the Australian and global economies starting to show signs of recovering, the local mobile market is projected to remain very strong. Telsyte estimates the number of mobile users will reach 25.3 million by the end of 2009, 116% penetration, rising to nearly 30 million in 2013, or 129% of the population.