AU mobile use climbs towards saturation point: IDC

Over 80 percent of Australians will own a mobile phone by the end of this year, according to International Data Corp, with mobile device production, multiple SIM card use and land line replacements sparking growth beyond that point.IDC's research, entitled "Upwardly Mobile: Australian Cellular 2004-2008 Forecast and Analysis", predicts that mobile phone ownership will achieve high levels of saturation over the next four years, reaching 89 percent in 2008.

Over 80 percent of Australians will own a mobile phone by the end of this year, according to International Data Corp, with mobile device production, multiple SIM card use and land line replacements sparking growth beyond that point.

IDC's research, entitled "Upwardly Mobile: Australian Cellular 2004-2008 Forecast and Analysis", predicts that mobile phone ownership will achieve high levels of saturation over the next four years, reaching 89 percent in 2008.

IDC's senior analyst for mobile and wireless solutions, Warren Chaisatien, predicts that Australia's mobile services will grow by 7 percent this year to create overall revenue of around AU$8.7 billion.

"Although voice will remain the "killer app" making up the bulk of carrier revenue, non-voice services will be the major revenue and profitability growth powerhouse and the primary battleground for the next five years," said Chaisatien.

He says that although pre-paid users will continue to support the market, the advent of the 3G network will cause post-paid subscriptions to take off.

The IDC report predicts that the 3G user base will "skyrocket" to 3.55 million in 2008, from its 2004 figure of under 300,000, due to its nationwide arrival in 2005.

IDC also projects that 4G networks, which will allow all wireless standards to interoperate with one another, will not become a reality until the end of the decade.