Mobile Phones add $6 billion a year to the Australian economy

It is expected by the end of this financial year, 94%, or 19 million Australians, will have mobile phones supplied by an industry that contributes more than $6 billion a year to the local economy, says a new AMTA report. 

The Allen Consulting Group report says the Industry Gross Product for the mobile phone industry in 2004-05 was $6.1 billion, up from $5.3 billion in the previous year.

The report on the economic significance of the Australian mobile telecommunications industry found that its impact is greater than either the free-to-air television services industry, or the newspaper printing and publishing industry or the computer consultancy services sector.

The report was undertaken for the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA), the peak national body representing the mobile phone industry.

The report’s key findings are:

  • In 2004-05, the mobile phone penetration rate was 81% (or 16.2 million subscribers). It is estimated to exceed 94% (or almost 19 million subscribers) in 2005-06. The mobile phone penetration rate is the number of mobile phone services per 100 people.
  • Prepaid mobile customers are mainly driving the growth in subscriber numbers. About 70% of the growth in subscribers in 2004-05 came from customers who are choosing prepaids.
  • About 33,600 people worked in the industry in 2004-05. The mobile phone industry paid about $1.3 billion in wages and accounted for 30% of the total employment in the telecommunications industry.
  • Revenue in the mobile telecommunications industry was $9.9 billion in 2004-05 and it is estimated to rise to $11.9 billion in 2005-06.
  • Capital expenditure of $10 billion on new networks since 1997.

AMTA CEO Graham Chalker said the mobile telecommunications industry is a high-revenue industry that makes a substantial and growing contribution to the wider telecommunications industry and the Australian economy. 

“The industry is poised for a new phase of growth with the introduction of new 3G services,” he said. “The importance of being mobile is particularly important for businesses. Mobiles enable business customers to access their company’s local area network on their laptops and new mobile devices while out of the office.

“The concept of the mobile office is here with the benefit of 3G technology and single mobile devices which play the role of PDA, email, video and digital camera and business document reader in one mobile phone.”

For an executive summary of the Industry Report, please click here, or for a full copy of the Report email ann.wellsmore@amta.org.au 

For more information contact Randal Markey, Manager, Communications, on 0421240550.