Tuesday, 14 May 2019 10:50

Mobile handsets preferred by Australian consumers to access Internet: report

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Mobile handsets continue to be the most common way Australian consumers are accessing the internet while the largest volume of data is downloaded over fixed lines, according to a new data report on internet activity by the ACCC.

The data report on internet activity by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission for the period ending 31 December 2018, also provides information on the number of retail services in operation (SIOs) by connection type and download speeds as well as the volume of data downloaded within Australia.

The total number of retail SIOs reached 39.9 million as at the end of last year - 24.3 million of these were mobile handsets, 8.4 million were wireless broadband and 7.2 million were fixed-line/wired broadband.

peter mobile

Proportion of retail SIOs by type of access connection.

“This report provides a clear indication that while consumers are most often using their phones to access the internet, when downloading significant content they currently favour fixed line connections,” ACCC Commissioner Cristina Cifuentes said.

And the report reveals that he greatest proportion of total fixed-line/wired connections are fibre connections (at 49%) with DSL connections accounting for 34%.

Fixed-line/wired technologies accounted for 91% of the total volume of data downloaded. Mobile handsets and wireless broadband contributed significantly less to the total with proportions of 6% and 3% respectively.

peter mobile2

Volume of data downloaded by type of access connection group.

“The volume of data downloaded is expected to grow exponentially as the result of the increased usage of content streaming services such as Netflix, social media such as Facebook, and applications including online gaming that continue to incorporate content-rich and video components.

“The most popular speed tier for fixed line and wireless broadband SIOs (excluding mobile handset) is less than 24 megabits per second,” Cifuentes said.

The report revealed that the speed tier of less than 24 megabits per second (Mbps) accounted for 61% of all fixed-line/wired and wireless broadband SIOs (excluding mobile handset), followed by the 24 Mbps to less than 50 Mbps (25%), 50 Mbps to less than 100 Mbps (8%) and 100 Mbps or greater (5%).

Charts: courtesy ACCC


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham - retired in 2020. He is a veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).

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