Australia's telco market to reach $47 billion

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Australia's telco market to reach $47 billion

Australia's telecommunications industry generated $44 billion in revenue last financial year, but that bulk of that is flowing to carriage service providers and over-the-top content, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA).

The communications watchdog tabled its Communications Report for 2017-18 in federal parliament on Friday, which aims to examine the telecommunications and media landscape in Australia and compare it with findings from 2013-14.

The report found that revenue from wireless telecommunications grew approximately 1.5 percent, while the growth of fixed networks declined by 2.5 percent between 2014 and 2018. There's still growth in sight for the telco industry, which is expected to add another $3 billion in revenue by 2021-22 to reach $47 billion.

The authority said that data-driven services from technology giants such as Facebook, Apple, Amazon, Netflix and Google (FAANG) would continue pressuring communications infrastructure.

The report produced a list of notable statistics in attempt to paint a picture of Australia's telco market, including an update on the progress of the NBN and the internet usage patterns of consumers.

The number of premises activated over the NBN was up 65 percent in the 12 months to June 2018, reaching just over 4 million, while 8.1 million premises were located in "ready for service" areas, up 42 percent.

The report didn't break down the amount of customers connected to each individual technology, but did say that 3.7 million activated customers are using fixed-line services, while 240,000 customers are using fixed wireless services and 90,000 are using satellite.

The report also gave an update on the controversial data retention obligations of telcos, which was introduced in October 2015 requiring telcos to store their customers' metadata for up to two years to aid law enforcement agencies.

Complying with data retention regulation cost $35.3 million in 2017-18, however, this was offset partially by $12.5 million from the costs recovered from criminal law enforcement agencies.

The government also provided $2.5 million in grants to fund the program for 27 CSPs. The Department of Home Affairs, responsible for enforcing the regulation, didn’t refer any CSPs to ACMA for failing to meet their obligations.

You can access the full 162-page report here.

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