Living in this hectic world, we often take things for granted. Imagine not being able to call or text your friends or post photos on any social media platform. All of that is possible thanks to the telecommunications industry.
We’ve collected the most interesting and up-to-date telecom industry statistics and facts to help you realize what this huge sector does for us every day.
Ten Must-Know Australian Telecom Industry Statistics
- There were 7.82 million fixed telephone users in Australia in 2019.
- There were almost 32.5 million mobile phone subscriptions in Australia this year.
- Mobile lines comprised 69.9 billion of the total minutes in 2020.
- The two main Australian 5G networks rolled out over 2,300 new base stations by mid-2020.
- The telecom industry in Australia is worth $35 billion.
- Telstra is the biggest telecommunications company in Australia.
- More than 75% of Australians consider their telecommunications services either average or good.
- Aussies used 1.35 billion GB in June 2019 alone.
- Android and iOS are the leading mobile operating systems used in Australia.
- The share of 5G subscriptions should grow to 34.2% by 2025.
General Statistics on the Telecom Industry in Australia
1. There were 7.82 million fixed telephone users in Australia in 2019.
Telecom industry statistics show that the number of fixed telephone users in Australia has gradually decreased from 10.63 million in 2010 to 7.82 million users in 2019.
Unsurprisingly, fixed telephone usage was most widespread among people aged 75 or older, with 83% of respondents from this age group saying they used landlines. By contrast, only 15% of people aged 18-34 said the same.
2. There were almost 32.5 million mobile phone subscriptions in Australia this year.
Even though this figure is a slight decrease from 2020, the number of mobile phone subscriptions has been on the rise over the past five years.
Mobile phones are increasingly used for voice calls—in a 2020 survey, as many as 60% said they were mobile-only for voice calls at home.
3. Mobile lines comprised 69.9 billion of the total minutes in 2020.
A study conducted between 2016 and 2020 indicates that over two-thirds of recorded minutes originated from mobile devices, whereas only 9.6 were from landlines. That’s a 5.7 billion increase on the mobile front and 1.7 billion fewer minutes on the fixed-phone front of the Australian telecommunications industry. These stats prove that fixed lines are being phased out as people rely more and more exclusively on their cellular phones for communication.
4. Most of the data is still downloaded through fixed-line and broadband internet.
Stats from June 2020 suggest that mobile access technologies are still behind fixed-line broadband internet in terms of downloaded data. Despite the increased use of smartphones, only 10% of internet data in the country has been downloaded on mobile. By contrast, fixed-line broadband technologies account for 90% of the download volume in Australia.
5. There are 8.2 million premises in Australia with active nbn connections.
Data from June 2021 reveals that the cumulative number of premises with National Broadband Network activations in the county reached 8.2 million, up from 7.3 million the year before. This figure also represents a drastic increase from the 2.4 million activations recorded in 2017.
6. There were 32.47 million mobile connections at the start of the year.
A growing number of Australians are also using mobile phones to browse the web and perform a number of activities, from online shopping to accessing social media. Thus, there were 32.47 million mobile connections in January 2021 alone, which equals 126.6% of the entire population.
Prepaid connections made up 31.5% of all mobile connections, while postpaid connections accounted for 68.5%.
7. There were 15.73 million internet subscribers in Australia in 2020.
(Australian Bureau of Statistics)
According to the Australian Bureau of Statistics, in 2018, mobile wireless had 6.561 million subscribers, followed by fibre internet with 3.640 million, and DSL with 3.232 million subscribers. The broadband type with the lowest number of subscribers in 2018 was the satellite with 132,000 subscribers, followed by fixed wireless with 217,000 and cable internet in Australia with 937,000.
8. The average download speed for mobile broadband networks in 2020 was 67.58 Mbps.
In 2020, telecom providers in Australia offered faster mobile internet speed compared to fixed broadband networks.
The average download speed provided by mobile networks was 67.58 Mbps, whereas fixed broadband networks provided only 45.92 Mbps on average.
Interestingly enough, fixed broadband upload speeds were much faster than mobile ones, at 19.28 Mbps and 13.97 Mbps, respectively.
9. The two main Australian 5G networks rolled out over 2,300 new base stations by mid-2020.
The implementation of 5G internet in Australia began in 2019 and has since expanded to 1500 base stations deployed by Telstra and another 800 by Optus.
Related reading: What are the strongest and fastest internet providers in Australia?
Australia’s Telecommunications Market and Revenue
10. The telecom industry in Australia is worth $35 billion.
In 2020, there were 3,622 telecom businesses in the country. That same year, the industry noted the highest gross value added to Australia’s GDP—$22.3 billion.
Still, the average industry growth between 2015 and 2020 was a negative 3.2%, with additional declines forecast in the following years up to 2025. Accordingly, the GVA of telecommunications services dropped to $5.6 billion by March 2021.
11. The Information Media and Telecommunications sector employs 178,500 persons.
(The Labour Market Information Portal)
This translates to about 1.4% of the total workforce in the country. The median employee age in this industry is 38, whereas the average weekly earnings amount to approximately $1,475.
12. Telecommunications comprised 14% of the average household infrastructure costs in 2019.
Telecommunication costs are a significant part of every house budget, but this expense is not distributed evenly across all earning groups. The lowest-earning 20% spent 6.2% of their income on telecommunications, while the highest-earning 20% spent 2.2% of their income on telecommunications services.
13. Telstra is the biggest telecommunications company in Australia.
Taking up 42% of the market, Telstra leads the pack when it comes to Australian mobile carriers. Optus is right behind with a market share of 26%, followed by Vodafone Hutchison Australia with a 17% stake.
What’s more, Telstra has held the biggest share of the market for over ten years—in 2010, this operator held 37% of the market, while Optus and Vodafone Hutchison Australia took up 30% and 27%, accordingly.
If you want to change your carrier, read all the ways to cancel the Telstra Internet plan.
Network Coverage in Australia
14. More than 75% of Australians consider their telecommunications services either average or good.
The vast majority of Australians believe that the telecommunications services they receive are either average or good, whereas 85% of consumers think that they receive the best quality of mobile networks and services.
On top of that, more than 60% of Aussies believe that almost every type of telecommunications infrastructure is pretty accessible, with mobile being slightly more accessible than fixed and broadband internet in Australia.
Remote and rural communities, on the other hand, are the least satisfied with the quality of telecom services they receive.
15. 43% of farmer respondents report poor to no mobile coverage.
According to a study conducted by CSIRO in 2017, only 34% of farmers reported good to full mobile coverage on their farms, whereas 43% said the coverage on their farms was either poor or nonexistent. This is most likely due to the size of the farms, as well as the proximity – or rather lack thereof – to urban areas, where internet base stations are most commonly located.
16. There is a significant gap among Australians in terms of the Digital Inclusion Index.
According to the Australian Digital Inclusion Index (ADII) Report for 2020, low-income households had a digital inclusion score of 43.8, which is 30 points lower than high-income households.
The overall ADII score is 63, or a 1.1 year-over-year increase.
Victoria and the Australian Capital Territory scores practically remained the same, whereas the scores for the other states increased. Western Australia had the largest increase – 2.8 points – as reported by telecommunications stats in Australia.
Excess Data Charges Statistics
17. Aussies used 1.35 billion GB in June 2019 alone.
According to statistics from a 2019 nbn report, the average Australian uses around 258GB of data a month.
When it comes to regions, Queensland noted the highest average usage at 274GB a month, whereas Tasmania with 231GB recorded the lowest. Interestingly, there was little difference between city and country-dwellers—the former used 274 GB per month and the latter had a monthly average usage of 246GB.
18. 15% of Aussies exceed their data limit on a regular basis.
Judging by the most recent survey on Australians’ data usage habits, 8% of respondents exceeded their limit three to four times a year, while 4% went over their data limit every month. Another 8% used more data than their monthly plan only once compared to 41% of interviewees who had not exceeded their limit.
Excess data usage has resulted in Australians paying a total of $181 million for extra mobile data in 2018.
Major Mobile Operators in Australia
19. Telstra gained $21.5 billion in revenue in 2021.
Telstra is a telecommunications service provider with the most significant Australian telecommunications market share. In 2021, it earned $21.5 billion, but this is actually the worst it has performed in the last five years. The company’s highest revenue, on the other hand, was registered in 2017, when it stood at 26 billion Australian dollars.
Optus Pty Ltd, the second-largest Australian telecommunications company, earned $8.32 billion in 2021. Optus’ highest revenue was recorded in 2016 with $9.1 billion, while the lowest was in 2017, with $8.4 billion.
20. nbn earned $4.63 billion in 2021.
The National Broadband Network is growing into one of the biggest telecom companies in Australia. nbn was founded by the government, and its expansion has been going well over the past several years. Its earnings for 2021 were $0.79 billion higher than in 2020, whereas nbn’s lowest revenue point was in 2015, with only $0.16 billion.
21. Android and iOS are the leading mobile operating systems used in Australia.
In June 2021, iOS had a 55.86% market share, followed by Android with 43.09%. The remaining mobile operating systems in the Australian market are Samsung (1.01%), Windows (0.02%), and other operating systems (0.01%).
Trends in the Telecom Sector
22. The share of 5G subscriptions should grow to 34.2% by 2025.
5G is expected to rapidly expand from a mere 5.7% share of subscriptions in 2020 to almost a third of Australia’s total mobile market share by 2025.
23. Telstra provides 5G coverage to 75% of Australia’s population.
In the meantime, Telstra’s rival Optus has stated that their 5G network was operating around 900 base stations and was available to use for more than 426,000 households throughout the country. In contrast, Vodafone plans to provide 5G coverage to 85% of Australia’s six most populated cities (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, and Canberra) by the end of 2021, as reported by telecommunications news in Australia.
24. The telecom industry has the biggest AI usage rate out of all the industries.
AI’s highest usage rate is in service management (39%) and product creation (37%). The next group consists of marketing and sales activities at 26%, followed by human resources (14%), risk (14%), supply chain management (12%), manufacturing (11%), and strategy and corporate finance (9%).
Australia’s telecom industry is one of the most advanced sectors in the country, with significant contributions to the economy. That said, the market is not without its challenges. Telecom service providers have been facing numerous issues, including the lack of service in remote areas, the digital gap between low and high-income households, as well as managing the impact of Covid-19.
Fortunately, both the private and the public segments of the sector have joined forces to deal with the current issues and ensure quality service across the country.
We hope that these telecom industry statistics have provided you with a deeper insight into the present-day state of Australian telcos, as well as some exciting information to keep in mind while staying connected!
- Australian Bureau of Statistics
- Global Data
- Ibis World
- Infrastructure Australia
- Infrastructure Australia
- Infrastructure Australia
- The Labour Market Information Portal