The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has released a report that concludes the mobile network carrier and reseller sector is contributing more than $5 billion to the Australian economy.
The mobile industry gross product was more than that of both the automotive vehicle manufacturing sector and the accounting services sector, and almost one-third of that generated by the entire accommodation, cafes and restaurants industry.
The report also noted that capital expenditure in the mobile telecommunications industry was substantial: $1.4 billion in capital to support new or expanded networks and upgrades to existing networks was expected to be invested in 2003.
The research project was undertaken by the Allen Consulting Group. It found that in the past five years, employment in the mobile telecommunications industry had increased by 50 per cent to more than 30,000 people.
Revenue in the mobile telecommunications industry exceeds $8 billion annually with an estimated 14 million subscribers. The report found that since 1997, capital expenditure on new networks had exceeded $8 billion.
AMTA CEO, Graham Chalker, said the mobiles industry had become a key part of the Australian economy and a significant employer.
“These investments underpin expansions to mobile network coverage that make mobile services available to more people in more places as well as supporting the development of new services which Australians are embracing,” he said.
Mobile services now exceed fixed lines. In June 2002, there were 12.7 million mobile services compared to 11.4 million fixed services. Chalker attributed the trend towards mobile use to convenience, saying that when combined with cheaper prices, mobile services were becoming an affordable option.