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Telstra still mobile market leaders in 2017, stealing share from Vodafone

Telstra continues to grow its Australian market share in the first three months of 2017, at the expense of Vodafone.

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Winners and losers

Market research company Kantar has published the latest statistics on mobile market share in Australia, revealing that Telstra, Optus, Amaysim, Aldi Mobile, and Boost grew their total market share.

Meanwhile Vodafone, Virgin Mobile, TPG, and other mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs) dropped customers.

Telstra are 2017 market leaders

As of March 31 2017, Telstra's overall market share was 41.4 percent.Telstra’s post-paid market share grew by 2 percentage points for a total of 42.8 percent, although prepaid fell by 2.8 percentage points down to 38.9 percent of the market.

Optus also gained market share, albeit very slightly, from 22.7 percent to 22.8 percent total mobile market share as both prepaid and post-paid each rose by 0.5 percentage points.

The only other providers to make gains as of March 2017 were Australia's mobile virtual network operators (MVNOs): Aldi grew by almost 1 percentage point, to 2.7 percent total market share; Boost gained slightly, now with 0.9 percent total market share; and other MVNOs grew by a percentage point to make up 6.2 percent of the total Australian mobile market.


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Vodafone biggest loser

Vodafone was the biggest loser droppingl from 15.3 percent total mobile market share at 31 March 2016 to 13.9 percent as of 31 March this year. It lost market share across both post-paid and prepaid, from 15.8 percent down to 13.7 percent; and 14.3 percent to 14.2 percent, respectively.

Virgin Mobile, which resells Optus' 4G network, also lost market share to hold just under 5 percent of the total Australian mobile market. TPG and iiNet held a 2.5 percent share of the mobile market, down from 2.7 percent last year; this could potentially increase over the next few years, however, as TPG builds out its own mobile network.

How they gained market share?

According to Kantar, Telstra gained customers from Vodafone and MVNOs as they churned in order to get "better network coverage" and "better customer service", while other customers left Telstra and Virgin to join Optus.

Optus' gain was largely attributed to its Samsung Galaxy S6 and S7 deals that bundled the handset in with data and streaming for better pricing and inclusions than competitors.

Kantar added that MVNOs have been making gains thanks to several factors: Boost's high data allowances, Aldi's network coverage, and Kogan's high recommendation scores.

Telstra is expected to continue gaining customers based on its better network coverage under the government's decision earlier this month not to declare wholesale mobile domestic roaming, which would have allowed Vodafone to piggyback off Telstra's mobile infrastructure.

Vodafone, which has the least network coverage across rural and remote Australia, called the decision a "missed opportunity" for those living in regional areas who it said will remain "hostage to Telstra".

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