The telecommunication services industry is made up of businesses mainly providing telecommunication services to the public by wire, cable or radio. The primary activities of the industry include cable and communication channel services, network communication services, operation of radio relay stations, satellite communication services, telecommunications, telephone services, teleprinter and telex services, and operation of television relay stations. The Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) classifies the provision of radio and television services (as distinct from the operation of radio and television relay stations) as part of the Cultural and Recreational Services Division of ANZSIC.
The Telecommunications Act 1997 (Cwlth) allows any person to provide a range of telecommunication services, provided they comply with the provisions of the Act. Providers may use telecommunications capacity acquired from a licensed carrier or, in defined circumstances, from non-carrier infrastructure, to supply a range of local or national telecommunication services to consumer and commercial markets. Service providers typically purchase network capacity from carriers at discounted rates. In theory this allows them to provide either similar services at competitive prices or a variety of value-adding services. These services include basic telephony services, mobile phone services, data and value-adding services, Internet services and other telecommunication services.
Table 23.3 shows performance indicators by size of telecommunication businesses for the telecommunication services industry. Total income for the telecommunication services industry was $31,796m in 2002-03. The largest income sources for telecommunication services were the provision of basic telephony services ($10,946m or 34%), mobile and paging services ($8,154m or 26%), data and text services ($2,655m or 8%) and Internet services ($2,183m or 7%). The telecommunication services industry operating profit before tax was $4,766m and represented an operating profit margin of 15%.
There were 39 telecommunications businesses with employment of 100 persons or more, accounting for 4% of all telecommunications businesses. These large businesses accounted for 90% of employment and 94% of total income. The operating profit margin for these large businesses was 16%, well above that for smaller-sized businesses.
23.3 TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES INDUSTRY(a), Performance indicators - 2002-03
100 or more persons
|Businesses at 30 June|
|Employment at 30 June|
|Operating profit before tax|
|Income per person employed|
|Labour costs per employee|
|Operating profit margin|
|(a) Excludes businesses for which telecommunication service provision was a minor part of their business operation, businesses which manufacture telecommunications equipment, businesses engaged in cable laying and transmission line construction, and those providing secretarial services such as answering or message delivery services.|
(b) Not published separately, included in total.
Source: Information Technology, Australia, 2002-03 (8126.0).