Vodafone holds top spot in Sydney

In Australia as a whole, Telstra is the number one mobile service provider, ahead of Optus in second, and Vodafone in third. But in Sydney, Vodafone claims the number one spot, Roy Morgan Research shows.

Nationally, among all Australia’s 18,775,000 mobile owners aged 14 and over, Telstra is the clear number one service provider, which 43.6 per cent of owners use, ahead of Optus (24.1 per cent) and Vodafone (18.0 per cent). But almost two-thirds of Australian consumers (and mobile phone owners) live in one of the mainland state capitals – where competition between the three network operators is much more fierce and diverse.

Across these five cities – Adelaide, Brisbane, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney – Telstra claims only about one in three mobile owners overall (33.6 per cent), a full 10 percentage points below its national share. Some of Telstra’s metropolitan loss becomes Optus’s gain (up to 26.3 percent), but Vodafone is the biggest winner, with a mainland capital city market share of 24.1 percent.

Sydney is also the most closely fought market, with less than four percentage points separating the three competing providers. Here, Vodafone is in the lead (30.4 percent), ahead of Telstra (27.9 percent) and Optus (26.5 percent).

Roy Morgan Research CEO Michele Levine says Sydney is worth more than $2.6 billion a year to mobile service providers, and the big three network operators between them own 83.3 percent of the market.

“Although there are some differences between mobile owners in Sydney and other capitals in how they use their phones, whether it’s mainly for business or personal purposes, what they want in service providers, and their cultural backgrounds, Vodafone’s market lead in the city is particularly anomalous – but perhaps has a simple explanation,” she said.

Roy Morgan’s analysis indicates that traditional retail reach is an important piece of the puzzle.

“Vodafone’s share of owners and their dollars in each city is actually remarkably similar when looked at ‘per store’,” Ms Levine said. “That is, while mobile owners in Sydney and Melbourne like equally to buy their plans in-store, Vodafone has just over 50 per cent more stores in Sydney – so is it any wonder its share of the market (and revenue) is also just over 50 per cent higher?”

In both Sydney and Melbourne, Vodafone has just over 7000 customers per store, worth around $430,000 a month.

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