2013-09-17 09:15:09 - New Fixed Networks market report from Business Monitor International: "Australia Telecommunications Report Q4 2013"
The Australian telecommunications industry is one of the highest value markets in Asia Pacific and even the world, underpinned by high incomes and strong uptake of higher value services such as broadband and smartphone handsets. However, subscription growth opportunities are severely limited in the years ahead due to the highly saturated nature of the market. Operators are increasingly focused on value generation strategies, although the ARPU downtrend demonstrates this has yet to pay off dramatically. However, the market is currently seeing high levels of investment in next generation broadband technologies which we believe will buoy ARPUs throughout 2013.
* Australian mobile operators saw mixed performances in 2012, ending the year with 30.642mn subscriptions. By Q113, BMI data show this
figure reached 30.987mn. Telstra continues to gain significant net additions at the expense of Vodafone Hutchison Australia (VHA).
* The auction of 700MHz digital dividend spectrum in May 2013 has encouraged the spread of LTE and value-added services; however, we expect strong competition and a deteriorating economy to apply downward pressure on ARPUs.
* We forecast Australia's broadband industry to receive a boost in the latter part of our forecast period when the National Broadband Network (NBN) and LTE services are widely available. The coalition's alternative NBN plan announced in April 2013 may bring this boost forward as it aims for a faster rollout.
Full Report Details at
- www.fastmr.com/prod/684707_australia_telecommunications_report_q ..
Key Trends And Developments
In May 2013, NBN Co launched its broadband services in Sydney. The NBN-enabled broadband service is initially available to 1,300 homes. The company is now expected to connect 1.4mn premises across New South Wales and 4.85mn nationwide by mid-2016. The nationwide launch is likely to be completed by 2021.
In May 2013, SingTel put up its Australian subsidiary Optus' satellite business for sale, soliciting offers in excess of AUD2bn (US$1.9bn), in order to help finance its expansion plans. By June, the company was reported to have received multiple bids for the business, with local sources suggesting that bidders included the international satellite companies, Eutelstat and SES, as well as the private equity groups, Carlyle Group and KKR & Co. However, the fact that Optus' satellite business operates key facilities for the Australian military is likely to mean that any deal will be subject to close scrutiny by the government.
VHA's 4G LTE service, which came into operation in June 2013, was initially launched in Sydney, Perth, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Wollongong and Newcastle. According to Vodafone, speeds on the network would reach 100Mbps - faster than those of Telstra and Optus in most areas. To begin with, the new service was available only to existing subscribers, but it was opened up to new customers in July. In July 2013, Telstra announced that it would be expanding its LTE coverage to an additional 200 regional towns in Australia over the next six months, thereby increasing its coverage from 66% to 85% by the end of the calendar year.
Also in July 2013, it was reported that Telstra had decided to call off its planned takeover of South Australian-based ISP Adam Internet, after it had failed to resolve competition concerns raised by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) before the deal's cut-off date. The ACCC had contended that the proposed deal would decrease competition in the broadband market, and the deal had also faced strong opposition from rival operators such as Vodafone, iiNet and Macquarie Telecom.
In August 2013, VHA confirmed that it would be introducing a flat rate of US$4.48 per day for international roaming in the UK, US and New Zealand. The company said it would launch plans that would allow customers to use their existing call, text and data allocations in these three markets initially, but that it intended to extend the plans to as many countries worldwide as possible. The move can be viewed as VHA's latest initiative to repair its brand image by providing differentiation.
Australia saw its Telecoms Ratings score decrease, falling from 72.0 to 71.2, which was due to its country risks component but remained in second place behind Japan. The Australian economy grew 0.6% q-o-q in Q412 in seasonally adjusted terms, maintaining the growth rate seen in Q312. However, these figures mask the underlying deterioration in consumption, which suggest that growth in 2013 will be weaker than 2012. Private consumption maintained its subdued growth rate, growing 0.2% q-o-q in Q412 in seasonally adjusted terms, and public consumption continued to contract, recording a 0.2% q-o-q decline in the same quarter. We believe that weakness in private consumption will continue into 2013, given that the job market remains soft with growing prospects of further job losses.
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