Australians shunning dedicated mobile broadband devices: Telsyte

Australians shunning dedicated mobile broadband devices: Telsyte

Summary: Despite ever-growing amounts of mobile data being consumed, Australians are increasingly choosing to tether mobile phones and use public Wi-Fi over purchasing a mobile broadband device, a survey from Telsyte says.

TOPICS: Broadband, Australia

Australians are shunning mobile Wi-Fi modems and turning to smartphone tethering and public Wi-Fi hotspots for their internet, new research reveals.

The market for mobile modems grew just three per cent in the 12 months to December even as mobile internet traffic continued to soar, according to Telsyte.

Growth was hit by the proliferation of public Wi-Fi hotspots, which are "sprouting like mushrooms" at places such as shopping centres and local council buildings, said Telsyte senior analyst Alvin Lee.

About four in every five businesses with more than 20 employees now offer Wi-Fi in the office, he added.

Meanwhile, more people are using their smartphones to transmit internet to their other devices such as tablets and smartwatches.

Telcos hope mobile Wi-Fi modems will appeal to users who own several devices and spend their time on the road.

But according to Telsyte's research, most tablet usage remains at home.

"Telcos have had some success with mobile Wi-Fi modems, but it is expected smartphone tethering will continue to disrupt this market," Lee said. "The opportunity for dedicated mobile broadband is diminishing even as mobile traffic continues to grow."

About 31 million devices used mobile internet in Australia as of November, 23 per cent of which ran on high-speed 4G networks.

Topics: Broadband, Australia

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • No Surprise

    With the rather high cost & then the 'multiple' accounts slugging you for the same thing its no surprise. Still rather annoys me that i cant use my phones internet data through my tablet or wi-fi dongle (eg. have all my sims linked).
  • Excellent news

    good news. The fewer devices required to do the job the better. Everybody wins - the consumers, the environment and the innovators who continue to ensure as little as possible is needed to perform the same function.

    I myself am an online university student who travels regularly so would dearly love to have continuous internet. But it's not the reality due to the fact there remain drop-outs, and the cost makes it prohibitive. My phone tethering works fine.
  • Tethering.

    I don't see the problem, Frenz9, unless it's a feature of Apple's walled garden.
    My Nexus 5 phone offers an excellent WiFi network to the whole area, feeding my computer (Linux), my Nexus pad and visiting friends, either from my phone plan, or my WiFi modem. It also connects to my computer via a USB cable, which makes for easy and fast data transfer and lets me download additional software through the phone whenever I'm installing a new Linux distro.