Aust mobile phone use tipped to rise: IDC

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Short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and wireless IP data and content will drive a growth in Australian mobile phone users by 2007, according to research firm IDC.

Short messaging service (SMS), multimedia messaging service (MMS) and wireless IP data and content will drive a growth in Australian mobile phone users by 2007, according to research firm IDC.

The report described Australia's mobile phone use as very high, and predicted that non-voice services would make up one-third of carriers' total revenue in 2007.

"The number of mobile phone users in Australia will continue to climb, reaching 14.9 million, or three-quarters of the country's population, by the end of this year," IDC said in a statement.

It estimated that this would then rise to 17.2 million users, or 83 percent of the population, by 2007. Revenue generated this year is expected to be $8.4 billion, growing to $12.1 billion in 2007.

Carriers overall average revenue per user was expected to plateau this year and begin to rise again next year, according to the statement. "Non-voice ARPU will register a big jump in 2005, when 3G infrastructures and applications become commonplace," said IDC senior analyst Warren Chaisatien.

He said that, with the market approaching saturation, Australian mobile phone operators would find themselves focusing on selling high-margin data services, keeping acquisition costs low, and pursuing customer segment-based strategies.

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