Telecommunications providers are thriving in the recession, according to research firm, Telsyte.
The company reports mobile broadband revenues have doubled to $1 billion over the last year, while average access prices have halved. Mobile service revenues grew by about 12 per cent as penetration topped 110 per cent. The average monthly spend per user increased by about 5 per cent.
Telsyte research director, Warren Chaisatien, said growth was driven by increased use of Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA), deployed in Telstra’s 3G network mid last year, and the popularity of smartphones.
“Continued HSPA+ network upgrades, the explosive growth of mobile broadband and the consumerisation of smartphones, were the main drivers behind the nation's mobile market's impressive performance,” Chaisatien said in a statement.
“2009 will be about content and applications as we see a proliferation of app stores, resurrection of mobile TV and continued push in the still-nascent mobile advertising space. Consumer protection will take centre stage this year.”
The operator line-up is also set to get a shake-up this year. Telsyte’s 2008 market review and 2009-2013 forecast report claims the entity created by merger of Vodafone and Hutchison means it “will have leapfrogged Optus in the all-important 3G and mobile broadband segments by a wide margin”.
Chaisatien said the market will benefit from better coverage and services, but shared concerns with the industry regulator, ACCC, that it may increase mobile access prices.
Handset vendors will lose revenue and cut imports by 10 per cent as cash-strapped users shun upgrades and keep their old devices, according to the researcher.
Prepaid 3G services are set to increase following the commoditisation of 3G offerings.