The Australian Communications and Media Authority says telecom competition is surging after it
awarded 40 new carrier licenses in the last financial year. 26 of the new carriers plan or have
launched wireless service, while 14 were specifically targeting rural areas.

In a report issued Friday, ACMA said “Consumers typically have a choice of at least two and
up to six different broadband access networks in major centres. This choice has emerged primarily
through the deployment of wireless infrastructure under commercial, cooperative or subsidised arrangements.
While the current plans of many of these new providers are focused on provision of
internet and data services, many of these networks are also capable of supporting voice over internet
protocol (VoIP) telephony.”

Of a total 134 carriers, an estimated 38 carriers operate networks used to supply fixed voice services
to business and residential customers, with approximately 20 carriers having entered this market
since 2002–03. VoIP telephony featured in the plans of 15 of the new entrants in the fixed voice
services market, said ACMA.

An estimated 18 carriers in addition to Telstra offering or proposing to offer fixed voice services
in regional areas, often as part of a bundled service offering.

“An indication of carriers’ interest regional markets is suggested by the 18 per cent increase in
the non-metropolitan geographic numbers allocated by ACMA in 2004–05 to new service providers
intending to provide services in nonmetropolitan areas.”

The report also identified at least eight carriers engaged in ADSL infrastructure installations
and an estimated 61 broadband wireless network operators supplying or proposing to supply broadband
wireless access networks in metropolitan, regional and rural centres.

Mobile services and data services take-up continues to grow. At the end
of June 2005, there were 18.42 million mobile services in operation,
compared with 16.5 million the previous year, and 5.98 million internet
subscribers, up from 5.22 million at the end of March 2004, the latter
growth being driven by broadband internet. The number of fixed voice
services fell for the second year in a row to 11.46 million services,
down from 11.66 million the previous year. “The emergence of cheaper
VoIP services is likely to contribute further to this decline,” ACMA
commented.


Who are the new carriers?

iPSTAR Satellite & Wireless Pivit Optic Fibre & Wireless
Wizz ServiceCorp IT ICN eSAT
Fox Consulting Adam Internet RP25 WBN
Ecopost Tower Computer Aid YLESS4U Golden IT
aCure MyWISP Techsus Wireless Works
Be Communications Advatel Cirrus Comms Bushcom
Wirefree Networks CommsLogic Mackay Computer DT&T
Megalink Ocean Broadband Blitzwave APN
SkyMesh BOP Broadband Kallistrate Index Consultancy
INS Azure Wireless Tasmanet VoIP Networks