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Australia's 3G Battle Will be Fought in Consumer Market, Says IDC

  • 15 November, 2004 10:20

<p>NORTH SYDNEY, November 15, 2004 - As predicted by IDC earlier this year, Australia's 3G market is being built through carrier network sharing. IDC has also raised the highly likely scenario where Australia will have a "bipolar" 3G market, with Telstra teaming up with Hutchison, and Optus aligning itself with Vodafone based on their common infrastructure suppliers.</p>
<p>"The Australian 3G market has turned around in the past 12 months, from uncertainty to synergy and stability. The firm commitments to launch 3G services in the second half of 2005 by Telstra, Optus and Vodafone have injected confidence to the once-precarious 3G industry lonely blazed by Hutchison '3'," said Warren Chaisatien, IDC Australia's Wireless and Mobility Research Manager.</p>
<p>IDC's new study, titled "And Then There Are Two: 3G Developments and Updates in Australia 2004," finds that competition will be fierce and differentiation will be critical as the three new WCDMA (Wideband Code Division Multiple Access) services to be launched next year will all be targeting the consumer market – also the primary focus of Hutchison '3'.</p>
<p>Although the jury is still out on what the 3G "killer apps" will be, the industry can expect the roles of 3G to fall into two major areas:
1. Enriching the user-experience of existing usage, and
2. Enabling new applications that are not possible on the current 2/2.5G networks</p>
<p>As 3G is poised to become ubiquitous next year, this study also finds that:</p>
<p>* The number of Australian 3G users is expected to reach 410,000 by year-end 2004, generating service revenue of A$246 million. Service revenue will double every year between now and 2008, when one in four mobile phone users are on 3G networks;</p>
<p>* Network reliability, handset variety and affordability, and simple tariff plans are some of the elements critical to the initial stages of ubiquitous 3G rollouts; and</p>
<p>* While the 3G market is still embryonic, the industry has already set its sight on "3G evolved" or 3.5G. A significant trend coinciding with 3.5G is IP Multimedia Subsystem (IMS), which is paving the way for new services, such as combination multimedia service and fixed-to-mobile convergence.</p>
<p>This IDC study provides discussion on the 3G strategies and positioning of Australian carriers and major network suppliers, and updates Australian 3G market forecast in terms of both subscribers and service revenue.</p>
<p>To purchase this study, please call the IDC sales team on (61 2) 9925-5300 or email Gary Clarke on gclarke@idc.com.</p>
<p>For press enquiries please contact:
Warren Chaisatien
Research Manager, Wireless &amp; Mobility
Email: wchaisatien@idc.com
Phone: 61 2 9925 2256</p>

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