Australia goes wild for wireless internet
Posted in: Internet Use/New Technologies at 13/01/2010 16:15
Use of wireless broadband services mushroomed during the past year to reach more than two million subscribers, driven by the popularity of wireless modems and mobile devices such as the iPhone.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority's communications report, released yesterday, revealed the use of wireless broadband services jumped 162 per cent in 2008-09, while fixed-line telephone services dropped 3 per cent.
To read this report in The Australian in full, see:
Broadband billions left hanging as wireless bites back
Australians are flocking to 3G mobiles and wireless broadband devices, bringing into question some of the assumptions behind the Rudd Government's $43 billion national broadband network.
A report published yesterday by the Australian Communications and Media Authority shows that take up of wireless technology more than doubled last financial year as quicker speeds and more sophisticated handsets made it a viable alternative to fixed-line internet.
Mobile broadband and internet services take off [news release]
During 2008-09 Australians continued to demonstrate their thirst for flexible communications. Take-up continued across a range of platforms and technologies, with the use of 3G mobile and wireless broadband services growing by 162 per cent. At the same time, general internet use continues to grow and diversify strongly, with Australians downloading ever-increasing amounts of data and more of us going online for business and personal transactions.
These are some of the highlights of the Australian Communications and Media Authority's Communications Report 2008-09, released today. The report provides an overview of the telecommunications, broadcasting and radiocommunications industries in Australia, including industry performance in meeting statutory service obligations.
'Digital convergence is well and truly with us,' said Chris Chapman, Chairman of the ACMA. 'During 2008-09, Australians continued to adopt new communication and media services and adapt their usage patterns to meet their specific lifestyle needs. Services such as 3G, VoIP and wireless broadband internet are being increasingly used, with factors such as lifestyle, age and family type shaping these choices.'
Australians increasingly seek flexibility in where and how they access communications and content. The number of mobile phone services increased by 9.5 per cent in 2008-09 to 24.22 million, while wireless broadband services grew strongly increasing 162 per cent to reach 2.1 million services as at 30 June 2009. This contrasts with the number of fixed-line telephone services, which declined by three per cent to 10.67 million.
Other key findings from the report include:
- Growth in mobile services has been driven by a continuing surge in the take-up of 3G mobiles, with 12.28 million services in operation at June 2009 compared with 8.55 million at June 2008, reflecting in part increased 3G network coverage and handset functionality.
- The growing importance of mobile networks as a revenue source was demonstrated in 2008-09, with all major carriers reporting mobile network revenue exceeding revenue from the Public Switched Telephone Network (PSTN).
- There were 8.4 million internet subscribers in Australia at June 2009, up from 7.2 million at June 2008. Nearly 80 per cent of Australians have an internet service at home, most of which (90 per cent) are broadband enabled. Broadband (non dial-up) internet subscribers have risen from 5.66 million to 6.72 million.
- Wireless broadband subscribers accounted for 25 per cent of all internet subscribers at June 2009, up from 11 per cent at June 2008.
- During the June quarter of 2009, Australians downloaded 99,993 terabits of data compared with 55,434 terabits during the same period in 2008, a staggering 80 per cent increase. Australians also viewed 46.6 billion web pages from home compared with 38.9 billion in 2008.
- Online data and information services generated $1.37 billion in revenue during 2008-09 while online advertising expenditure increased by 27 per cent to reach $1.7 billion at the end of 2008.
- The number of Australians banking and shopping online has increased from 63 per cent in 2008 to 67 percent in 2009.
'This report again demonstrates the evident enthusiasm with which Australians are engaging in the digital economy,' said Mr Chapman. 'While this is encouraging, it again also raises issues for operating within a regulatory framework built on many traditional fixed line telephony assumptions.'
A copy of the report is available at the ACMA's website.
The ACMA Communications Report 2008-09 fulfils the ACMA's statutory obligations to report to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on telecommunications performance (under section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997).
The report discusses telecommunications industry performance against a range of regulatory obligations, from compliance with the Customer Service Guarantee to the provision of emergency call services to Australians and performance in meeting industry codes and standards. Broadcasting industry performance in meeting regulatory obligations such as Australian content standards is also discussed, as are media ownership and control issues.
The report also provides a greater focus on the digital economy and its impact on the telecommunication and broadcasting sectors. It also examines how Australians are using digital communications and media to participate in the digital economy.
Data in the report is drawn from a range of sources including information reported by industry to the ACMA, research undertaken by the ACMA using third-party public sources and commissioned surveys.
Table 1. The ACMA Communications Report, 2008-09: key indicators at a glance
This ACMA news release, including a table of key indicators, is available from:
ACMA Communications Report 2008-09 [news release]
The ACMA Communications Report 2008 -- 09 fulfils the ACMA's statutory reporting requirements under section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997 to report to to the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy on matters relating to the performance of carriers and carriage service providers including consumer satisfaction, consumer benefits and quality of service.
The report provides a comprehensive overview of developments in the Australian telecommunications industry for 2008 -- 09 and also covers many aspects of the broadcasting and radiocommunications industries.
The report provides an overview of the telecommunications industry including service developments and industry performance in meeting statutory service obligations and reports on the development of the digital economy and its impacts on the telecommunications and broadcasting sectors. It also examines how Australians are using digital communications and media to participate in the digital economy.
Data in the report is drawn from a range of sources including information reported by industry to the ACMA, the ACMA's research using third-party public sources and commissioned surveys and analysis.
The report was tabled in Parliament on 12 January 2010.
Structure of the report
Starting with introductory comments by the Chairman and an executive summary, the report contains key indicators and six chapters. A glossary and index is also provided.
Download the report - in full:
This ACMA news release was sourced from: