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Does the NBN underpin mobile service provider growth?

Does the NBN underpin mobile service provider growth?

Telsyte study finds people are considering getting NBN broadband from their primary mobile service provider

The mobile services market is heating up, giving mobile-only carriers a “huge opportunity” to expand their NBN services in the coming years, according to a recent study by analyst firm, Telsyte.

In its latest Telsyte Australian Mobile Services Market Study 2017, it found that Australia’s telecommunications market is getting “substantially more competitive” with the arrival of NBN into metropolitan areas, giving mobile service providers what it calls a “once in a generation churn opportunity”.

However, the NBN has received some backlash in the more recent past.

The Chief Minister of the Australian Capital Territory (ACT), Andrew Barr, recently pitched in on the rollout of the NBN in March, suggesting that, in its current form, it will not meet the future needs of the territory.

“The experience in the ACT shows that the current NBN rollout schedule is not best suited to meet the needs of our community,” Barr stated in his submission to the inquiry, dated 28 March.

Barr wasn’t the only one. The Minister for Innovation, Science and the Digital Economy and Minister for Small Business of Queensland, Leeanne Enoch, blasted nbn in early April over its decision to not publicly report progress against the three-year rollout plan of the NBN.

“It is unacceptable that a national project is not reporting publicly on progress against plan,” Enoch said.

In addition, The Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) recently revealed that it saw a nine per cent surge in telecommunications industry complaints and inquiries in 2015-16, with NBN-related complaints rising by 145 per cent compared to the year prior.

Regardless, Telsyte's study highlighted that the mobile services market is heating up with 15 per cent of subscribers switching providers in 2016, up from 11 per cent in 2015. It also found that a quarter of Australians are willing to consider getting NBN broadband from their primary mobile service provider even if they are not yet providing non-NBN fixed services today.

This includes providers such as Vodafone, Amaysim, Kogan Mobile, and ALDIMobile.

The study also found that mobile carriers collectively rate higher than brands such as Google, Facebook or Apple to potentially become NBN service providers.

“The NBN is a huge opportunity for mobile only carriers to expand their services in the coming years. More than 10 per cent of mobile and fixed broadband subscribers bundle their services already, and Telsyte believes this trend to continue to grow,” Telsyte Senior Analyst, Alvin Lee, said.

Other findings from the study include:

  • Australian mobile services market is found to favour month-to-month plans despite higher smartphone prices and more competitive contract plans, paving the way for more flexible fixed line broadband packages
  • MVNOs (Mobile Virtual network Operators), which currently have around 10 per cent share of subscriptions, were responsible for a quarter of the net additional subscribers during the second half of last year, driven by competitive pricing and flexible non-contract plans
  • Less than 10 per cent of mobile phone users purchased second SIMs in 2016, as they are more comfortable with tethering their devices to their smartphone with a larger data plan
  • The average smartphone data allowance increased by more than 40 per cent in 2016 while data usage grew by more than 60 per cent over the same period.

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Tags governmentnbn coTelecommunicationsstudytelsyteNational Broadband Network (NBN)findings

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