BYO mobile plans are set to further shake up Australia’s mobile services market, resulting in less long-term subscriptions, according to technology analyst firm Telsyte.
With more than 25 million handheld mobile services in operation (SIO) at the end of June 2016, over half of them are now on non-contract plans leaving the door open for more movement between carriers – two thirds opted for non-contract plans in 2015, an increase of more than 10 per cent over 2014.
Telsyte predicts M2M (machine-to-machine) and secondary devices will be the main drivers for future market growth, while the increase of handset SIO will be limited to net population growth as the market is highly mature.
“Despite the healthy growth, M2M services only accounted for less than five per cent of overall mobile services revenue,” explains Telsyte senior analyst for mobile services Alvin Lee.
“Telstra will maintain a strong lead in the M2M market, however, other service providers are likely to attack their handset market share aggressively.”
Price is still the number one reason for switching carriers according to Telsyte and more than half of consumers considering changing MSP are driven by price. Lee predicts price competition will likely see ARPU starting to decline for more MSPs in the second half of 2016.
Research shows 52 per cent of mobile SIOs are now on 4G networks, with penetration expected to reach 85 per cent by 2020.
With more than half of all smartphone services using 4G, there will be more competition around delivering services to consumers that can make use of faster download speeds and larger download allowances such as streaming music, video and games.
The ability of networks to tap into growing mobile trends such as Pokémon Go and live streaming will help grow data utilisation by consumers.  In 2015, the average growth of data allowances was 76 per cent, however, data usage only grew by 45 per cent.
Telsyte estimates that two million Australian smartphone users had downloaded Pokémon Go by the end of July 2016.