04 April, 2014
11:00 AM


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Mobile broadband on the money

By Editor

Mobile broadband technology—connecting to mobile networks using dongles, tablets, data cards and smartphones—helps us to communicate with others and access multimedia content on-the-go. But new ACMA research suggests that mobile broadband has also improved productivity and overall economic growth, leading to a $33.8 billion increase in Australia's economic activity in 2013 (measured in terms of GDP).

The Economic impacts of mobile broadband on the Australian economy, from 2006 to 2013  (Word, PDF) combines the latest data on mobile broadband use, survey results from over 1,000 local businesses and economic modelling to deliver Australia's most comprehensive view of this revolutionary technology.

Mobile broadband has shaped the way we communicate and do business, and this trend is expected to continue into the future. Looking forward, two-thirds of businesses surveyed expect the impacts of mobile broadband to grow over the next five years compared to 2006–13.

And, if you've never heard of a 'petabyte', it's time to learn—one PB equals 1,000,000 gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes! Data use is expected to grow at an annual rate of 38 per cent, from an estimated monthly average of 22.2 PB in 2013 to 81.1 PB in 2017—a 265 per cent increase over this period.

*One petabyte (PB) = 1,000,000 gigabytes or 1,000,000,000,000,000 bytes. Australia’s mobile communications sector employs 21,000 people and adds $7.3 billion to the economy. Sector productivity grew 11.3% a year (2006–13) In 2013, purchasing power increased by an estimated $652 per person Average cost of a mobile telecommunications connection fell by 21% Growth in mobile broadband productivity, use and demand has increased competition and affordability. A quarter of businesses surveyed said adopting mobile broadband reduced costs Boosting the economy. In 2013, mobile broadband has added $33.8 billion (that’s 2.28% of our GDP) of economic activity in Australia, with $26.5 billion (78%) due to time savings for business Private/household mobile data traffic to grow to 57PB a month by 2017, up from 16 PB in 2013—a 260% increase Business mobile broadband use to grow to 20 PB a month by 2017, up from 6.1 PB in 2013—a 231% increase 4G devices to use an average of 3 GB of data a month by 2017, up from 1.7 GB in 2013—an increase of 78% 4G data traffic to grow 76% a year (2013–17)—866% total increase Mobile data use predicted to grow 38% a year, from 22.2PB* a month in 2013 to 81.1 PB in 2017—up by 265%. It’s all about growth Aussies are mobile-data hungry. We’re consuming more and more data via mobile networks and adding billions to the economy along the way. We connect to mobile networks using dongles, tablets, data cards and smartphones—and future use is set to explode. Mobile broadband—the dollars & the data

By measuring the productivity gains from mobile broadband on the Australian economy, we're also assessing the value of the radio spectrum that makes mobile connectivity possible. The recent boom in mobile broadband use makes it more important than ever to evaluate how our finite spectrum resources are used.

This mobile broadband research is a component of the researchacma program, which gathers up-to-date information on key consumer, market and technology trends in the communications environment. The report will be positioned as an important input to the development of an updated mobile broadband strategy, which will be progressed throughout 2014.

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