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Market research firm Telsyte expects M2M applications to present a near $300 million opportunity for carriers over the next four years, and "many times more for application developers" as the Australian mobile services market grows from around 29 million subscriptions this year to 35 million by June 2015.

Telsyte says this growth will be the result of people having second and third devices like media tablets but, mostly, machine-to-machine (M2M) SIMs.

According to Telsyte research director, Foad Fadaghi, "More than one-third of Australian businesses not currently using M2M applications are considering them, creating a huge opportunity for carriers, developers and value-added partners who can educate buyers and provide innovate approaches to service delivery'¦Automotive, retail, security and utilities applications will lead market growth."

Australia already has one of the highest population-penetration rates of mobile handsets in the world with a population-penetration of 127 percent and the forecast increase would take this to 150 percent.

Telsyte says there are two distinct trends driving the personal device market: the demand for BYO smartphones with month-by-month, post-paid plans, which will benefit MVNOs that cater for the BYO device segment of the market; and, opposing this, the increase in purchases direct from carriers for leading smartphones from vendors like Apple, HTC and Samsung, where users are looking for a subsidised device.
 
Telsyte says the growth of the MVNO sector will continue to impact carriers' networks, despite the incremental revenue opportunities. "MVNOs create additional revenue for carriers, however it comes at a hidden cost as it often requires an increase in CAPEX," Lee said. "MVNO subscribers with high data usage can impact the network, hastening the need for network infrastructure upgrades."

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