The geographic size of Australia combined with a population of only 20 million, means that the local ICT distribution channel is very different than what is found in the U.S. The local ICT channel is quite fragmented and characterized by small, specialist resellers. Resellers/distributors look for cutting edge products to sell to the market, and they want to bundle services with new products to increase revenue streams. Additionally, not all resellers and partners provide marketing support. Some distributors/resellers in the local channel are of comparable size (employees and turnover) to companies in the U.S. channel, but most are much smaller;
Australians are receptive to high-technology equipment, creating opportunities for U.S. vendors of Information Communications and Technology (ICT) equipment and services. For example, Apple has opened one of its few overseas flagship stores in Sydney, and the demand for its products reflects Australians’ love affair with high-tech products. In particular, demand is very strong for mobile wireless products and mobile applications. In the telecommunications market, 3G access is the quickest growing broadband segment in the local market.
Another key driver will be the Federal Governments proposed National Broadband Network (NBN). In May 2008, the Federal Government issued a Request for Proposal (RFP) to build a National Broadband Network (NBN). In April 2009 the government announced its plan to invest up to USD$30 billion over eight years to deliver fiber-to-the-home to domestic and business customers. The new network will:
- Connect 90 percent of all Australian homes, schools, and workplaces with broadband services up to 100 megabits per second and 100 times faster than those currently used by many households and businesses
- Connect all other premises in Australia with next generation wireless and satellite technologies that will deliver broadband speeds of 12 megabits per second.
The Federal Government established the NBN Co, which will build and own the wholesale infrastructure. Telecommunications carriers and ISPs will purchase access from NBN Co