Mobile broadband taking off in Aus: ACMA

Mobile broadband usage is growing rapidly in Australia - driven by the growing popularity of 3G phones - but fixed networks still serve the vast majority of data, ACMA statistics show

Six in 10 Australian adults have a 3G phone and of these 40 per cent use it to access the internet, according to statistics compiled by ACMA.

ACMA (the Australian Communications and Media Authority) said take-up of 3G handsets increased nine percentage points over the period between April 2009 and April 2010.

The regulatory body expects the use of mobile broadband services to continue to grow as consumers continue to upgrade to smartphones and internet-accessible 3G feature phones.

The number of mobile wireless broadband subscribers, including users of dongles and data cards, grew 71 per cent between June 2009 and June 2010 to 3.4 million, according to ABS figures.

Fixed broadband growth was minimal over the same period, suggesting mobile broadband was becoming an increasingly important technology for the ICT industry, ACMA said.

But by volume of data downloaded, fixed broadband connections still have an overwhelming lead, with the ABS estimating that 91 per cent of data downloaded from a broadband connection in the June quarter was by fixed internet users.

The remaining nine per cent was split between all wireless broadband technologies, including satellite and fixed and mobile wireless.

ACMA said it expects the volume of wireless broadband traffic to increase as the number of users do.

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Tags businessmobilitymobileNetworkingTelecommunicationsAustralian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA)

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