[LINK] Broadband Around the World - Telstra claims one of the highest ARPU's in the World

Tom Koltai tomk at unwired.com.au
Fri May 22 09:50:54 AEST 2009

> -----Original Message-----
> From: link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au 
> [mailto:link-bounces at mailman1.anu.edu.au] On Behalf Of 
> Richard Chirgwin
> Sent: Friday, 22 May 2009 7:49 AM
> To: link at anu.edu.au
> Subject: Re: [LINK] Broadband Around the World
> stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> > Broadband Around the World
> > 
> > Catherine Rampell, May 20th 2009
> > 
> >  
> http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/20/broadband-around-the-world/
> > 
> > 
> > The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development 
> has released 
> > its latest data on broadband access     
> www.oecd.org/sti/ict/broadband
> > 
> > Eg, Broadband Subscribers Per 100 Inhabitants, Dec 2008:  
> Australia is 
> > the sixteenth country at 25 people per 100. Their OECD 
> average is 22.5
> > 
> > Eg, Broadband Average Monthly Subscription Price $US, Oct 
> 2008. Aussie 
> > is twenty eighth at $56.21/month, and the OECD average noted is 
> > $44.31.
> Subscription price averages are a meaningless measure that 
> fail to take into account the distribution of users across 
> different plans.
> To demonstrate this, get some real numbers. Eg, from the 
> Telstra annual report:
> June 2008 subs - 3,269,000
> Income to June 2008 - $1.805 billion
> Approx ARPU - $A46 per month
> In USD - $34.50 per month

Unfortunately Richard - Telstra also do their "accounting" in weird and
wonderful ways. For example, in the Glossary section they state that:

WBB: Wireless broadband. A wireless broadband SIO is defined as any
customer with a BigPondR wireless device or a mobile wireless broadband
product on a plan with a data access fee of $29 or above.

Whether or not It's used.

Therefore - as most phones have data plans tacked on - the $29.00 per
month for almost no data (200mb I believe) acts as skew to the numbers
resulting in an artificial lowering of the ARPU.

So the OECD numbers as near as I can make out are correct.

Telstra say:

The broadband sector is in a significant growth phase as the demand for
high speed internet access accelerates. We have recently seen large
increases in broadband customers and broadband average revenue per user
("ARPU") despite a steady fall in prices as providers compete for market
share. We expect the broadband sector to continue its expansion through
the provision of new innovative products and we expect to be at the
forefront of this market dynamic with our ability to integrate services
over our fixed and wireless platforms. We believe our growth in
broadband market share and broadband ARPU is a unique double amongst the
world's leading incumbent operators.

They then go on to explain that their "Browse pack numbers are included
in the figures - again skewing the average.

Total income (excluding finance income) growth was mainly attributable
. total mobile revenue (including wireless broadband) - increased by
$719 million, up 12.7%;
. internet revenue (including wireless broadband) - increased by $547
million, up 28.2%;
. IP and data access revenue - increased by $115 million, up 7.1%; and
. Sensis income - increased by $157 million, up 8.0%.
Mobile goods and services revenue increased owing to the continued
growth in the number of mobile customers as we increase our market
penetration, particularly for 3GSM services and wireless data services
on the Next GTM network. In addition we also saw increased usage across
a range of voice and data services, driving up average revenue per
Internet revenue recorded strong growth during the year as we continued
to increase our market share in the expanding retail and wireless
broadband markets. High speed plan customers grew significantly during
the year, with growth in our customer base also due to the continuing
migration from narrowband products and an increased demand for
applications and content.
Consistent with the prior year, we have included the results of wireless
broadband in both the mobile and internet categories. In fiscal 2008,
wireless broadband and low-end browse pack revenues were $565 million,
up $310 million or 121.6%.

> So: the ARPU for the largest ISP in the country is more than 
> US $20 below the "average" subscription price.

Bull$%^@ !

In fact they are crowing with pride at how high their ARPU actually is.

> We constantly encourage politicians to seek "OECD position" 
> in broadband policy, which is just nonsense. Moreover, since 
> it's so easy to play "spot the bollocks" in the broadband 
> data, why would I give any better credence to the OECD's 
> education, health, taxation, or any other of its pronouncements?

Because their economists have actually taken the time to go through the
figures - deduct the numbers from promotional units and come up with a
real ARPU.


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