Vodafone AU loses market share as Telstra, Optus rise: Kantar

Vodafone now has 15.2 percent total mobile market share, while Telstra holds 41.1 percent and Optus 22.7 percent, with the no-contract segment rising again.

Market research company Kantar has published the latest statistics on mobile market share in Australia, revealing that Vodafone Australia, Virgin Mobile, and TPG have all lost customers while Optus and Telstra have grown subscriber numbers.

Telstra now has a 41.1 percent total market share, Kantar said, up from the 39.7 percent recorded last year despite its three network outages. In prepaid, it holds 41.7 percent of the market, up 4.1 percentage points year on year; in post-paid, it holds 43.6 percent, up 1.2 percentage points; and in no contract, it holds 30.1 percent, down one percentage point.

Optus was recorded as having 22.7 percent of the total mobile market as of the end of March, having grown by 1.4 percentage points. Prepaid remained the same, at 21.5 percent, while post-paid grew by 2 percentage points, up to 24 percent, and no contract jumped by 3.8 percentage points to 20.6 percent.

Vodafone Australia, meanwhile, dropped by 1.3 percentage points in total market share down to 15.2 percent. In the prepaid segment, it lost 1.4 percentage points in market share down to 14.2 percent; in post-paid, it lost 1.3 percentage points down to 16.5 percent; and in no contract, it remained the same, at 12.3 percent.

Virgin Mobile also lost customers: It now holds 5.6 percent total market share, down from 6.5 percent last year; 3.5 percent of prepaid market share, down by 2.6 percentage points; 6.8 percent post-paid market share, up by 0.3 percentage points; and 6 percent no-contract market share, down by 1.6 percentage points.

TPG's total market share stood at 2 percent, down from 2.8 percent last year. It lost 0.7 percentage points in the prepaid segment down to just 0.8 percent market share; 1.2 percentage points in post-paid, down to 1.4 percent of the market; and 2 percentage points in no contract, down to 6.8 percent market share.

Amaysim remained fairly stable over the year, improving its total market share by 0.5 percentage points, as did AldiMobile, which gained 0.1 percentage point. Other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) accounted for 7.5 percent of total market share, 6.9 percent of prepaid, 6.4 percent of post-paid, and 13.8 percent of no-contract, with losses across the board.

Overall, prepaid and post-paid both lost customers who opted for no contracts. The latter category again experienced growth, climbing by 4.8 percentage points and now accounting for 14.3 percent of the total mobile market.

Kantar explained that the growth in Amaysim and MVNOs was due to their support of the usage of streaming services. The company also attributed the rise in Optus customer numbers to more generous data inclusions.

Complaints to the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) about Optus have been rising alongside its customer numbers, however; in the complaint statistics for January to March 2016, highest in the complaints ratio was again Optus, which saw 7.9 complaints per 10,000 SIO. This signalled a jump of 33.9 percent quarter on quarter, or 8.2 percent year on year.

Telstra had the second-highest ratio of complaints, with 6.4 per 10,000 SIO. This accounted for a 30.6 percent increase in complaints since the October to December 2015 quarter, though a 7.2 percent decrease year on year.

Vodafone remained relatively stable over the quarter, with an increase of 5.7 percent quarter on quarter to 3.7 complaints per 10,000 SIO -- but a substantial drop of 57 percent year on year.

Amaysim had just one complaint per 10,000 SIO, though this signalled an increase of 42.9 percent from last quarter's 0.7. It was, however, also a drop of 33.3 percent from last year's 1.5 complaints.

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