Publisher estimates that the overall telecoms services revenue was about $42.5 billion in 2013, slightly down on revenue in 2012, as a result of poorer results from Vodafone and Optus.
Growth has in fact been subdued since 2011, largely due to competitive pressure on pricing among operators, as well as the continuing economic uncertainty among some sectors of society which has reduced discretionary spend. This is expected to continue in 2014 and 2015, with revenue growth limited to about 1%-1.5% annually. Most fixed-line and mobile voice services are now at levels where consumers would not tolerate price increases, so opportunities to drive increases in consumer and business expenditure in the short term are limited to mobile broadband services based on 4G/long-term evolution (LTE) technologies, fibre and cloud data-housing.
Telstra successfully rolled out 4G services in 2011, establishing a significant market advantage since it had no competition in this sector from either Optus or Vodafone until 2013. Nevertheless, the company's
overall market share continues to decrease slowly, staying steady at 60% in 2014.
Optus has seen its market share stabilise at about 21% to 22% during the last few years. The company is attempting to grow its share through company stores expansion, increased digital media presence and its LTE rollout.
The merged Vodafone and Hutchison operator, as VHA, has seen a drop in revenue in recent quarters, as well as a declining employee count and dramatic losses in its subscriber base. The company may emerge a changed operation by 2014/15, but this depends on the strategy that is adopted. The company anticipates seeing a turnaround in late 2014 or 2015.
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The second-tier telcos' share of revenue continues to expand for several smaller broadband providers - most notably iiNet and TPG - but revenue fell overall in 2013, with Telstra picking up the majority of subscribers and revenue.
This report includes detailed revenue and forecasting statistics and analyses for the mobile broadband and fixed broadband markets, separately, with estimates for the future. In the long term fixed broadband on the copper network will also decline gradually as fibre and fixed-wireless broadband services become more widely available - although the Coalition's NBN plan, with its emphasis on VDSL with fibre-to-the node (FttN), will make greater use of copper than did Labor's plan for a national fibre-to-the-home (FttH) network.
At the same time as fixed-line telephony is declining, the mobile broadband market is growing steadily and is set to become a major income revenue stream for providers. As well as this, in time much of the voice traffic will be data via technologies such as voice-over-long-term-evolution (VoLTE). Data traffic caused network constraints on 3G networks over the past couple of years, since the infrastructure was not designed for the rapid increase of traffic and consequently MNOs have had to invest in network upgrades to ensure that customers receive a reliable service.
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