Telstra is forecast to hold onto its crown of having the most mobile services subscriptions from the end of the year through to 2026 due to its focus on 5G.
The claim comes from research firm GlobalData’s telecom analyst Aasif Iqbal during the release of its Australia Mobile Broadband Forecast Model (Q2-2021) report, who said recent moves by the telco support its 5G push.
“It has extended 5G coverage to 75 per cent of the population as of June 2021 and has further plans to invest $150 million in mobile network upgrades until April 2022,” he said. “The company also plans to switch-off 3G network by June 2024 to free up spectrum for 5G expansion.”
Telstra’s continued dominance in the market comes as GlobalData claims that overall mobile service revenue in Australia is expected to reach US$11 billion by 2026, representing a five-year compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 3.9 per cent.
Breaking this down, mobile data service revenue is anticipated to grow at a CAGR of 4.6 per cent over the next five years due to a projected rise in higher average revenue per user (ARPU) 5G subscriptions.
Meanwhile, mobile voice services revenue will also grow, albeit comparatively slower over the period, with a CAGR of 2.2 per cent.
While the figures are expected to rise, this is down from analysis released by GlobalData seven months ago in March, when it claimed at the time that the overall mobile services market would reach US$15 billion by 2025.
Regardless, Telstra’s 5G push is timely, as Iqbal added that 5G subscriptions in Australia are expected to cover 30.9 per cent of the market in 2026 following support by the major telco, as well as Optus and Vodafone, for 5G expansion.
The telco’s continued lead in the market also comes as Iqbal claimed earlier in the year that Telstra needs to focus on internet of things (IoT) and 5G network expansion to turn off 3G in order to free up spectrum for 5G.