Aussie wireless broadband use doubles

Aussie wireless broadband use doubles

Summary: Australian wireless broadband subscriptions have almost doubled in the last six months to reach 809,000, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

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Australian wireless broadband subscriptions have almost doubled in the last six months to reach 809,000, according to a report released today by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).

The ABS' Internet Activity report said the massive boost brought the proportion of wireless broadband to 14 per cent of all internet subscriptions in Australia.

Total internet subscriptions were up 7.2 per cent to 7.2 million in the period. Of these subscribers 80 per cent had broadband. ADSL was still by far the most popular broadband technology, accounting for more than half of all broadband subscriptions (54 per cent).

Nathan Burley, an analyst for Ovum, said the increase in wireless subscribers (the category included 3G mobile broadband subscribers) was most likely due to a rapid drop in price.

Nathan Burley
(Credit: Ovum)

"We saw a price war towards the end of last year and earlier this year, so a dramatic lowering of costs made it very affordable for mobile broadband subscribers," he said, "From June [2007], there has been a 60 per cent reduction".

However, Burley said that this drop in price was unlikely to continue. "Mobile broadband [prices] are probably starting to bottom out. There is signs that there are problems on some of the networks ... operators are not provisioning enough capacity."

Burley said that the wireless internet growth was not driven by business, which often required a faster connection. "In terms of business market we see it as more complementary rather than as a substitute," he said.

Another reason that Burley cited for the increase in popularity of wireless broadband was its competitiveness compared to low-speed DSL connections.

"If you look at the ABS figures, the number of subscribers that are on 256Kbps or 512Kbps plans is still a very large proportion of the subscriber base. A person who is still on that sort of connection could easily operate on a wireless network," he said.

Burley said that wireless broadband's competitiveness with budget DSL would continue to drive its growth. "All of those connections are a possible for mobile operators to churn across to wireless."

Topics: Broadband, Government AU, Networking, NBN

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9 comments
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  • Wireless Broadband Doubles

    Yes this all sounds well and good, but I want to know how many of these people had no other alternative then to get wireless or to go without broadband? I live in a town where half the residents can get ADSL and the other half cannot. Guess who has to get wireless if they want broadband, the half that cannot get ADSL of course. Was this aspect covered in the study and if so why was it no published? I agree that the lowering of wireless broadband access prices has attributed to the increase, but what is the true percentage of users that took it up because they had no other alternative?
    anonymous
  • Wireless Broadband Doubles

    Ditto with the above comment from Mathew. I live in a brand new housing estate where Telstra has not proovisioned enough 'ports' to satisfy the demand for ADSL. Consequently 3g is the only (slow and unreliable) alternative. Price is not an issue for me as my internet costs are employer subsidised. Availability of a decent service is an issue though...
    anonymous
  • No other choice

    Agreed, I only got wireless broadband (512K is not broadband!!!) because I'm too far from my exchange to ever get normal ADSL. It's slower, unreliable and frustrating all round. But it's all I can get. Unless in 2015 the government's proposed broadband infrastructure upgrade plonks a new exchange closer to my house, I'll be stuck forever with no fixed line internet.
    anonymous
  • wireless broadband

    Wireless Broadband seems to be going down the same path Global-freeway did a decade or so ago with over-subscribing their customer base, I know several who are on Wireless only because they have no other option, my Son and his GF moved back home and I have watched them go thru months of frustration with constant drop outs, pathetic connection speeds, very little to no support, as soon as they manage to get thru on the phone and explain they are having connection problems they are cut off and it takes days before someone answers the phone to them again, repeatedly sending emails on a daily basis for several weeks straight has received not a single reply to date (using my ADSL connection)

    My Daughter In-Law finally managed to pin one Operator down via a ‘Sales Number’ and with the threat of the Telecommunications Ombudsman, Today Tonight etc, the Operator sympathised with her and explained that she too has been down the same path and that over-subscription is the main problem, besides the hardware/software conflicts the ISP’s are suffering, as well; regards a Vista conflict she asked about before signing up, she was assured would not be a problem on their network, but the operator told her that if she ran Vista on her Laptop then there was a well known conflict with Vista and Wireless, she was told her contract would be cancelled with no penalty within 3 working days, that was over a fortnight ago and still no disconnection and no contact despite repeated attempts to phone her ISP back...

    She has had so many so called Technicians try to trace the problem and most end up blaming the reception suggesting we are too far from their Mobile Phone Tower network, but with one Tower located West of us around 100metres away in the easement behind our house and a new Tower around 600metres or so away North of us, I fail to see how she can be having reception problems, plus the USB Modem has already been replaced twice without any improvement…

    Sadly; but most Wireless subscribers have stated that their Dial-up was more reliable in the majority of complaints I have read online or heard about...

    The Whirlpool Forums alone are littered with unsatisfied Wireless Broadband Customers, do a Google search, one will quickly realise they are not the only one up the creek without a paddle slowly drifting into oblivion whilst these companies continue to sign up customers knowing full well they have a major problem they have not fixed despite all of the promises of upgraded equipment to handle the poor suckers who have no other option...

    Shame, Shame, Shame...
    anonymous
  • Wireless Broadband Doubles

    My girlfriend is a victim of the rental market (owner sold her previous residence). So getting stuck on a 24 month broadband contract is impractical and even then her new place didn't allow Telstra so she couldn't transfer from her old place. So she chose Unwired.
    It's not the best (it's not 3G), but it's relatively affordable and no contracts.
    anonymous
  • @wireless

    i'd be interested in hearing more!

    we keep being told by the tttt fellators about telstra's monopoly, but you are saying the new area *didn't allow telstra*. which isps are allowed?

    sounds anticompetitive to me. one for graham samuell.
    anonymous
  • Wireless Broadband woes

    Ok it seems no html code allowed so interested parties will need to look up (Google) for The Sydney Morning Herald AU Web Site for the following title;
    Optus 3G falls into black hole

    Read the article then read the MashUp Blog: Tell us your Optus 3G experiences

    And an interesting Quote from the previous Link;
    I used Virgin Broadband, an internet/phone service that uses Optus 3G.

    So it seems as Virgin users scramble for a better service and climb aboard Optus they are climbing from the Frying Pan to the Fire...

    Damned if you do, Damned if you don't...
    anonymous
  • wireless broadband

    have used 3s wireless broadband for 18 months in Melb, suburban area without any problem at all. Good back-up service, cost currently $39 per/month for 6GB. Speed as last tested on this site av. 1.600. software on modem always says connected at 7.2 but you won't achieve this in reality. just plug it into any USB port and away you go. Software also will allow you to send SMS to any mobile phone.
    anonymous
  • Wireless Broadband Capacity and Speed

    I have a wireless BB, however the speed of the service is sometimes as slow as dial up in peak daytime usage times.

    The increase in the number of users must surely be matched an investment in the infrastructure to handle the increased number of users.

    Otherwise it might as well become known as a wireless dial-up service
    anonymous