Mobile virtual network operator (MVNO) partners from some of Australia’s largest telcos have seen ‘significant growth’ in mobile services over the last 12 months.
Partners of mobile network operators (MNO) Optus, Telstra and Vodafone have seen upsurges in pre-paid, post-paid and mobile broadband services in the last 12 months to June 2020, according to the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).
Included in the consumer watchdog’s Internet Activity Report for the the three months to June 2020, MVNOs — which include Amaysim, Boost and TPG, the report highlighted — saw a rise in all categories of services in operation (SIO) by an overall 13 per cent, which the report labelled as “significant growth”.
Post-paid mobile SIOs saw the largest growth, at 16 per cent, followed by prepaid SIOs at 12 per cent and then mobile broadband SIOs with 2 per cent.
“This suggests that some post-paid mobile customers are seeking out alternative plans on offer from MVNOs, some of which are offering comparable or larger data allowances and/or comparable or lower prices to those of the MNOs,” the report noted
This is opposed to retail mobile services, which recorded overall SIO decline of 3 per cent, with prepaid mobile SIOs falling the most at 10 per cent and mobile broadband SIOs falling by 8 per cent. Meanwhile retail post-paid mobile SIOs grew by just 1 per cent.
The report also found that all retail and MVNO mobile services SIOs recorded an increase in the monthly average volume of data downloaded over the same period, increasing to 8.4 GB, up from 7 GB.
This was noted across all three types of mobile services, with mobile broadband increasing to 12.2 GB, up from 9.2 GB. The monthly average volume for post-paid data downloads was at 9.1 GB, up from 8.1 GB, while the monthly average for prepaid data downloads was at 5.2 GB, up from 4 GB.
The increase in data volume wasn’t just seen in the mobile space, with total volume of data downloaded increasing on the whole by 38 per cent year-on-year, up to 8.2 million TB, over the three months to June — up from 5.98 million TB in the same period a year prior.
This was driven by retail NBN services, which accounted for 6.28 million TB in the period, nearly double that of the period the year prior with 3.48 million TB.
Retail non-NBN fixed services however decreased over the three month period, shrinking from 2019’s 1.81 million TB to 2020’s 1.14 million TB.
The growing prevalence of MVNOs is not going unnoticed by telcos, with Optus offering 5G mobile service access to its wholesale partners earlier October.
SpinTel is its first partner to use the 5G service and will be in line to "select" postpaid wholesale partners.