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Australia to reach 35 million mobile subscriptions by 2015: Telsyte

Tablets and M2M applications will drive growth says analyst firm

The Australian mobile services market is expected to grow from 29 million subscriptions to 35 million by June 2015 due to the increasing popularity of tablets, according to telecommunications analyst firm, Telsyte.

In its Australian Mobile Services Market Study 2011-2015 report, the firm forecasts the demand for personal smartphones and devices with post-paid plans to increase over the next two years.

The report measures carriers' strategies, mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) performance and consumer trends.

Telsyte analyst, Alvin Lee, said in a statement that the total mobile services in operation (SIO) market would grow from a penetration of 127 per cent in 2011 to almost 150 per cent in 2015.

"However, the counter trend is the increase in purchases direct from carriers for smartphones from vendors such as Apple, HTC and Samsung, where users are looking for a subsidised device," he said.

According to Lee, the growth of the MVNO sector would continue to impact carriers' networks, despite the incremental revenue opportunities.

"MVNOs create additional revenue for carriers, however, it comes at a hidden cost as it often requires an increase in CAPEX," he said.

This is because MVNO subscribers with high data usages could impact the network, hastening the need for network infrastructure upgrades.

While Telsyte estimates that mobile SIOs will increase by more than 7 million during the forecast period, growth will mainly come from the machine to machine (M2M) segment which has lower average revenue per user.

In addition, the firm has released a M2M market 2011-2015 report which forecasts that M2M applications will grow over the next four years with a $300 million opportunity for carriers and application developers.

Telsyte research director, Foad Fadaghi, said in a statement that automotive, retail, security and utilities applications were expected to lead market growth.

"There will be three million new M2M SIMs connected to mobile networks in Australia by the end of June 2015 with the potential for this to skyrocket in the following years," he said.

The report also found that over one-third of Australian businesses that are not currently using M2M applications were considering using them.

"This is an opportunity for carriers, developers and value-added partners who can educate buyers and provide innovate approaches to service delivery," Fadaghi said.

Follow Hamish Barwick on Twitter: @HamishBarwick

Follow Computerworld Australia on Twitter: @ComputerworldAU

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