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Australian thirst for fixed and mobile data continues

Consumption of mobile phones has doubled in Australia over the past year, while data downloaded on fixed connections increased by 56 percent annually to 823TB.
Written by Chris Duckett, Contributor

For the three months until the end of 2013, Australia's taste for mobile data pushed on, doubling the usage seen in the three months until the end of 2012, and now averaging half a gigabyte of data for each mobile handset subscriber in the nation, the latest release of the Australian Bureau of Statistics' Internet Activity report reveals.

At the end of 2012, Australian's downloaded 13.7TB of data over the three month window of the report, by June 2013 the number increased to 19.6TB, and by end of 2013, 27.6TB of data was downloaded nationally. The large increase in data comes despite moderate gains in Australia's subscriber base, moving from 17.4 million subscribers, to 20.3 million subscribers.

The data for mobile handsets used by the ABS only includes "revenue generating downloads", and does not include any downloads offered by telcos that do not count toward mobile data quotas.

Overall though, fixed-line broadband remains the highly dominant connection type for downloading data, accounting for 96 percent of all downloaded data.

Image: ABS


Over the period examined in the report, fixed-line broadband moved from 526TB for December 2012 to 823TB in December 2013, an increase of 56 percent.

Dial-up internet continued its slow decline, with 79,000 fewer subscribers in December 2013 compared the same period in 2012, leaving 209,000 dial-up subscribers across Australia. The total number of broadband subscribers increased slighty from 11.9 million in December 2012, to 12.2 million at the end of December 2013.

The report said that there were now over 2 million subscribers on plans that advertised speeds above 24Mbps, with all speed tiers below 8Mbps decreasing moderately, while those higher than 8MBps increased by single digit percentage points.

Fibre broadband connections across Australia increased from 91,000 at the end of 2012, to 167,000 by the end of 2013, cable grew from 918,000 to 944,000 over the same period, and DSL connections continued to rise from 4.7 million to 4.9 million.

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