Our expanding digital footprint | ACMA

Our expanding digital footprint

Australians are leaving a trail of data across the online environment as our web-based interactions continue to mature. On all fronts we’re seeing the continual advance of the digital economy, with increased take-up of digital communications and the rollout of key infrastructure such as the NBN and 4G mobile networks. This is shown by the number of mobile services operating in Australia—30.2 million at June 2012—driven by increasing use of smartphones and mobile internet. All the latest media and communications trends and statistics are available in the

ACMA Communications report 2011–12, tabled today by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy. Check out our handy infographic or read on for the key facts:


Mergers and acquisitions

  • The drive for economies of scale and market share increased competition and market consolidation. The rollout of key infrastructure projects such as 4G and the NBN influenced the acquisition of a number of strategic communications assets; for example:
    • iiNet’s acquisitions of internet service providers Supernerd, TransACT and Internode for a total purchase price in excess of $165 million
    • M2 Group’s acquisition of Primus Australia for $192.4 million
    • Optus’s purchase of the assets of Vividwireless for $230 million
    • Foxtel’s $2 billion acquisition of pay-TV provider Austar.

Continued growth and development of the mobile services sector

  • The growth in mobile services slowed, with a three per cent increase from June 2011 to June 212 to 30.2 million services. In comparison, growth the previous year reached 13 per cent.
  • The growth in mobile services was driven by increased take-up of mobile wireless and mobile handset internet services (mobile internet), with subscribers increasing by 22 per cent in the 12 months to June 2012.
  • Telstra increased its share of mobile services from 42 to 46 per cent between June 2011 and June 2012. This included an increase of 1.6 million mobile services, compared to an increase of 416,000 for Optus and a net decline of 357,000 for Vodafone.
  • Telstra launched the first commercial 4G service. At June 2012, its 4G network covered 40 per cent of Australia’s population, with more than 375,000 4G devices activated.

Continuing shift in consumer preferences for mobile and IP communications

  • The number of fixed-line telephone services declined by one per cent to 10.44 million.
  • Mobile phone users without a home fixed-line telephone (mobile only) increased by 24 per cent to reach 3.1 million adults (aged 18 years and over).
  • Smartphone users reached 49 per cent of total adults at May 2012, up from 25 per cent at June 2011.
  • Mobile phone users going online via their mobile handset increased from 21 per cent during June 2011 to 32 per cent during June 2012.
  • Users of voice over internet protocol (VoIP) increased by nearly 21 per cent to 4.3 million adults, and users of mobile phone VoIP services increased by 133 per cent to reach 616,000.

Continued growth and development of Australia’s digital economy

  • In the 12 months to June 2012, the number of internet subscribers increased by 17 per cent to 28.23 million.
  • The number of Australians going online at least once a day increased by eight per cent to 10.8 million.
  • The volume of data we downloaded increased by nearly 52 per cent—421,147 terabytes during the June quarter of 2012 compared to 277,897 terabytes during the June 2011 quarter. That’s equivalent to 110,247 high definition movies or 53,309,746 high-quality songs.
  • Average data downloads for fixed broadband internet subscribers reached 69.5 gigabytes during the June 2012 quarter. This compared to an average of 4.2 gigabytes for wireless broadband subscribers and less than one gigabyte for mobile phone handset internet subscribers.
  • The increase in data downloaded reflected the growth in online streaming of digital media. During June 2012, for example, 1.6 million Australians aged 14 years and over used catch-up TV services—a 47 per cent increase on June 2011.
  • To complement the Communications report 2011–12, we are publishing a suite of targeted reports on specific areas of the digital economy:
  • Report 1—Online video content services in Australia: Latest developments in the supply and use of professionally produced online video services
  • Report 2—Australia’s progress in the digital economy: Participation, trust and confidence
  • Report 3—Smartphones and tablets: Take-up and use in Australia (due for release in December 2012).

These reports highlight the changing communications and media landscape in Australia, and the increasing importance of the digital economy to the future growth and development of these sectors. The Communications report 2011–12 is produced to fulfil the ACMA’s reporting obligations in section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.


www.acma.gov.au We're downloading more: In the June quarter of 2012, we downloaded 421,147 terabytes of data-that's equivalent to 110,247 HD movies or 53,309,746 songs We communicate mostly using: mobile phones - 48%, fixed-line phones - 22%, email - 21% We rely more on mobile services: The number of mobile services now operating (an average of 1.3 per person) 30.2 million, More than half of all mobile phone users now have a smartphone -54% We're online more: Australians go online at least daily - 10.8 million, Australians who see the internet as important for paying bills - 60%, Australians subscribe to 28.2 million internet services-an average of 1.2 per person, Internet users agree the internet has improved their everyday lives - 71%, Number of internet services Australians subscribe to (an average of 1.2 per person) - 28.2 million Australia's digital footprint engage.gov.au/commsreport

Last updated: 06 September 2017