Sydney’s mobile phone market is ripe for competition

Peter Terlato 18 November 2017 NEWS

Sydney skyline Australia large

Telstra overshadows other networks nationally but Vodafone rules Sydney's populous urban sprawl.

Telstra is comfortably Australia's largest mobile phone network but fierce competition in the country's biggest cities and business districts sees other operators capturing a significant share of the market.

Telstra holds a 43.2% market share nationally, trailed by Optus (24.7%), Vodafone (17.3%) and others (17.1%).

However, new research released by Roy Morgan reveals Vodafone to be the leading mobile phone provider among workers in Australia's most populous city, Sydney. Telstra, Optus and other, smaller networks follow.

Sydney's mobile market is huge, with 520,000 people supporting an annual turnover estimated at $373 million.

Vodafone retained almost one third (31.9%) market share in Sydney between May and October 2017, according to Roy Morgan's survey results, slightly loosening its grip compared to the same period last year (32.7%).

Telstra wasn't far behind at 28.3% (down 2.4% since 2016), while Optus had just 24.4% (down 2.3% since 2016).

This means all three major carriers suffered declines in the last 12 months. Smaller players, such as Virgin and TPG, witnessed gains of 5.3% year-on-year, accounting for almost one fifth (19.9%) of the total market share.

"A major challenge for mobile phone providers in this market is that Sydney CBD workers are much more likely to switch mobile providers than Australians overall," Roy Morgan Research spokesperson Norman Morris said.

"Other major differences are that they are more likely to have been born overseas and as a result make more international calls, be male and have higher education. The market appears less loyal and more demanding of the services and service that they get from their mobile provider, when compared to the general population."

Choosing your next mobile phone doesn’t need to be overwhelming. Compare providers and plans but beware, signing up for a 24-month deal can mean higher costs and less data than prepaid or month-to-month SIMs.

Discover why Australia is becoming the prepaid country and how different phone plans rank for popularity.

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