Telecom market in Australia, which will see the launch of 5G networks by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone in 2020, is set to achieve marginal growth between 2018 and 2023.
Operators are in the process of spending on expanding mobile coverage in underserved areas and strengthening their fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) connectivity as part of the government’s national broadband network (NBN) initiative.
GlobalData’s report on the telecom market in Australia indicated that the forthcoming 5G launches in 2020 will be one of the main growth drivers for the increase in telecom operator revenues.
Four companies have won 5G spectrum in the latest spectrum auction in the 3.6 GHz band.
Australia has sold all 350 lots available in the auction, realising revenue of approximately $853 million, equivalent to almost $0.29/MHz/pop, according to a statement from the ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority).
Dense Air Australia won 29 lots for $18,492,000; Mobile JV (a joint venture between TPG Telecom and Vodafone Hutchison) won 131 lots for $263,283,800; Optus Mobile won 47 lots for $185,069,100 and Telstra Corporation won 143 lots for $386,008,400.
GlobalData said mobile data revenue will remain the largest contributor to telecom market during the forecast period, driven by increasing smartphone subscriptions, expanding LTE networks, growth in the use of 4G services and the launch of commercial 5G services in 2020.
Telecom service revenue in Australia will grow at a CAGR of 0.5 percent in terms of US$ (0.01 percent in local currency) during 2018-2023.
Mobile revenue will account for 54.2 percent of total and pay-TV services revenue in 2023, driven mainly by rising mobile data consumption.
4G will be the most adopted mobile technology over the 2018-2023 period.
Telstra, Optus, and Vodafone Hutchison Australia, the top three mobile operators, accounted for 89 percent share of overall mobile subscriptions in 2018.
The share of smartphone in total handset subscriptions is expected to reach 94.3 percent by 2023, as all the major mobile network operators (MNOs) continue to promote easy monthly bundled plans on smartphone purchases.
5G is expected to account for 26.1 percent of the total mobile subscriptions by 2023, Deepa Dhingra, telecom analyst at GlobalData, said.
Fixed broadband revenue will register the fastest growth, mainly led by the rising demand for high-speed fiber broadband services. Fixed broadband network expansions as part of NBN project will improve the penetration of fixed broadband services in Australia.
Mobile voice revenue will drop due to a dip in usage rates and the voice ARPU. Fixed voice revenue will decline in value as a result of falling circuit-switched lines and declining fixed voice ARPU.
Increasing substitution of pay-TV services with OTT video streaming applications will drag down pay-TV revenues through 2023.
Australian operators are currently focusing on driving IPTV subscription base through fixed broadband + IPTV bundled plans to partially offset the continued decline in cable and direct-to-home (DTH) subscriptions.