Recent Innovations Provide Mobile Industry with Strong Platform for Growth

Australia’s mobile telecommunications industry contributes $4.8 billion a year to the local economy and is positioned for strong growth opportunities with the roll out of third-generation technology (3G) mobile phones, a new report finds.

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) today released the industry report, which measures the economic impact of the mobile telecommunications industry on the Australian economy.

The report, undertaken by the Allen Consulting Group, found that the economic contribution of the mobile telephone industry in Australia is greater than either the free-to-air television services industry or the newspapers, printing and publishing industry.

Among the reports findings are:

The Industry Gross Product – a measure of an industry’s contribution to the economy – was $4.8 billion in 2002-03, 9 per cent higher than the previous year.

More than 34,500 people worked in the industry in 2002-03.

The revenue of the mobile telecommunications industry was $8.8 billion in 2003-04.

The on-going industry specific payments to government were two per cent of revenue or $178.2 million in 2003-04.

The estimated growth in subscriber numbers from 2003 to 2004 was more than 10 per cent.

AMTA CEO Graham Chalker said the mobile telephone industry was positioned for a new strong phase of growth with the introduction of 3G mobile technology.

“Peaks in subscriber growth are associated with the introduction of new networks, such as in 1993 when the 2G GSM network was introduced and in 1999 with the CDMA networks,” he said.

“After a period of consolidation, the industry is poised for a new phase in growth over the coming years when the full impact of 3G services on mobile growth rates comes into effect.”

Mr Chalker said recent innovations with the convergence of the internet and mobile communications technologies had opened up a whole new world of services never before available on mobile phones.

“The content available on 3G services is a key distinguishing feature between second generation and third generation technology. There is strong growth and new employment opportunities emerging from alliances between carriers and content providers for access to the latest services.”

Mr Chalker said the report found that the mobile penetration rate was estimated to be 80 per cent, ranking Australia equal 20th in terms of per capita mobiles.

Mobile penetration rates exceed 100 per cent in Israel, Sweden and Taiwan. It is more than 95 per cent in the Czech Republic, Greece, Hong Kong and Italy.

Mr Chalker said the trend of mobile customers using more than one SIM card and multiple mobile phone handsets for personal and business use was expected to drive the mobile penetration rate higher in Australia.

Media enquiries:

AMTA – Randal Markey, Manager Communications ph: 02 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550

The Allen Consulting Group – Kathleen Forrester ph: 03 9654 3800

Link to Executive Report

Electronic copies of the full report may be obtained by email to ann.wellsmore@amta.org.au