Mobile services in Australia surge on many fronts | ACMA

Mobile services in Australia surge on many fronts

ACMA Media Release 132- 13 December 2011

The number of mobile services in Australia increased by 13 per cent during 2010-11 to reach 29.28 million at June 2011, according to the Australian Communications and Media Authority's Communications Report 2010-11, tabled in Parliament yesterday by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy.

The net growth in mobile services is fuelled by a continued surge in the numbers of mobile wireless broadband services (dongle, datacards or USB modems connected to a computer) and internet services connected via mobile phone handsets.

During 2010-11, mobile wireless broadband services increased by 39 per cent to reach 4.79 million services at June 2011 while mobile phone internet services increased by 43 per cent to reach 9.68 million services at June 2011. The number of mobile handset services also increased by 9 per cent to 24.49 million services at June 2011.

ADSL internet services increased by 7 per cent to reach 4.49 million services in June 2011.

During 2010-11, the number of fixed-line telephone services in operation, continued to decline in this period from 10.59 million to 10.54 million.  At June 2011, an estimated 2.7 million Australians were without a home fixed-line telephone service, up from 2.3 million at June 2010.

'Australians continued to diversify their use of communications with increasing numbers adopting multiple communication devices to suit their particular lifestyle and professional needs. This is most evident in the increased adoption of voice over internet protocol (VoIP), mobiles, the internet and other specific communication channels (such as social networking) in addition to the fixed-line telephone,' said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman. 

Use of VoIP services continues to increase among Australians with 3.8 million people using VoIP at June 2011, compared to 2.9 million at June 2010.  Mobile handset VoIP usage has seen the biggest growth in usage, increasing by 226 per cent during 2010-11 from a modest base to reach 274,000 users at June 2011.  8.6 million Australians went online from home to access social networking sites during June 2011 compared to 8.0 million during June 2010.

'We are also seeing Australians continuing to embrace the digital economy. They are yet again spending more time online, participating in more online activities relating to information, banking, e-commerce and entertainment,' said Mr Chapman.

15.4 million Australians went online during the June quarter of 2011 compared to 14.6 million during the June quarter of 2010. Sixty per cent of internet users went online more than once a day at June 2011 compared to 56 per cent at June 2010.

The total volume of data downloaded in Australia increased by 76 per cent with 274,202 terabytes of data downloaded during the June quarter of 2011 compared to 155,503 terabytes during the June quarter of 2010, with the average amount of data downloaded per subscriber increasing by 56 per cent (from 16.1 gigabytes of data to 25.1 in the June quarter of 2011).  

While mobile internet use is increasing, fixed-line networks continue to do the heavy lifting of the digital economy, carrying an estimated 93 per cent of total data downloaded via the internet.

During 2010-11 there were significant developments in terms of the digital economy relating to the Australian broadcasting sector, including the continued transition to digital broadcasting and the growth in adoption of digital television and digital radio services. At June 2011, 82 per cent of Australian households had converted their main set to digital television (up from 74 per cent at June 2010).

More consumers are also going online to access digital content services such as catch-up viewing and streaming radio content.  During June 2011, nearly 1.1 million Australians accessed catch up television viewing services online compared to 568,000 during June 2010.

The ACMA Communications Report 2010-11 is available from the ACMA website.

The ACMA Communications report 2010-11 is produced in fulfilment of reporting obligations under section 105 of the Telecommunications Act 1997.

For more information or to arrange an interview please contact: Emma Rossi, Media Manager, on (02) 9334 7719, 0434 652 063 or

The ACMA is Australia's regulator for broadcasting, the internet, radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA's strategic intent is to make communications and media work in Australia's public interest. For more information:

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Last updated: 29 June 2013