2 May 2016 Complaints about mobile services fell by 26 per cent in the year to January-March 2016, according to figures released today by the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO). And the TIO says that the ratio of complaints about mobile services has decreased by 48 per cent over the past four years, while services in operation have increased by 8.5 per cent in that period. The TIO s official complaints about mobile services in January-March 2016 were 11,064 compared to 15,096 in the same period in 2015 this is a fall of 4032 complaints or 26.7 per cent. Mobile complaints in January-March 2016 rose by 17.3 per cent compared to October-December 2015, however, the TIO said that January-March is traditionally its busiest quarter.
With a disturbing increase in the use of technology to control, stalk and abuse Australian women, a new initiative eSafetyWomen has been launched to help empower and encourage women to take control of the technology in their lives. Sadly, research shows that one in six Australian women have experienced violence from a current or former partner. A recent, smaller scale, survey also indicates the vast majority of domestic violence workers had clients who had experienced technology facilitated abuse2, says the Office of the Children s eSafety Commissioner, Alastair MacGibbon. Portable devices, apps and social media are commonly exploited in abusive relationships. While explaining the risks, eSafetyWomen also shows how technology can be used positively, to protect women against their abusers, says Mr MacGibbon.
Zero Waste is a new video that features MobileMuster and looks at how we can all rethink waste and turn waste into an opportunity. MobileMuster, the mobile telecommunication industry s recycling program, features in Zero Waste, which was created by 1 Degree and shown at a panel discussion on zero waste and News Corp Australia this week. The film looks at how we can all rethink waste and turn waste into an opportunity. It showcases a number of News Corp s environmental partners and looks at the innovative approaches each organisation is taking to go to zero waste for their industry. To watch the Zero Waste Film click here Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager at MobileMuster, participated in a panel discussion on zero waste at News Corp. He outlined the MobileMuster program, highlighting the environmental benefits of recycling mobile handsets and how we can all contribute to a circular economy.
Did you know that there are millions of mobile handsets lying idle in Australian homes? MobileMuster have teamed up with the renowned home organisation guru Peter Walsh and together we're on the hunt for Australia's biggest mobile phone hoarder. To enter the competition, click here. We have also developed some handy resources to help you declutter those old mobile phones and accessories.
The rules for network infrastructure deployment will have to be updated to meet the challenges of next generation mobile technology, says the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA). AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, told the CommsDay Summit session on 5G and Wireless Futures that along with higher frequency spectrum, 5G would also be characterised by much denser networks, which would challenge current regulations for network deployment. AMTA is proposing reform to how mobile network deployment activity is regulated. These proposals have the potential to further promote investment in mobile networks by driving efficiencies in planning and deployment activity and also have the potential to deliver flow-on economic productivity benefits for Australia, he said. We will require significant adjustment of regulatory policy to allow the sort of density in deployment that 5G is going to require.
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has developed a mobile phone use policy which promotes compliance with Australia s driving laws and provides practical advice on how to minimise distraction risks. The mobile phone use policy was developed in conjunction with AMTA s members Telstra, Optus and Vodafone and in partnership with the National Road Safety Partnership (NRSPP), which is a network of road safety experts, authorities and businesses working to build road safety programs for workplaces.
A New Zealand safe driving campaign to stop drivers illegally using mobiles uses surprising social awkwardness to make a powerful point. Hello is a road safety campaign by New Zealand s Transport Agency. The video shows passengers intercepting and holding drivers hands as they illegally attempt to pick-up their mobiles while driving. Drivers in Australia are not permitted to touch their mobile unless it is in approved cradle, allowing them to touch it only for the purposes of making or receiving a voice call while keeping their eyes on the forward roadway. http://mashable. AMTAs Safe Driving tips http://www.mobiletips.org.au/pages/Dont.drive.to.distraction.-.safety.tips.for.drivers
New ACMA research, Regional Australians online, looks at how effectively Australians are able to participate in all forms of digital communications and transactions. Key findings include: While those of us living in major capital cities have greater levels of connectivity than those in less populated areas, there is evidence that levels of connectivity in regional areas are improving. 80 per cent of Australians living in non-urban areas reported a broadband connection at home, compared with only 61 per cent four years ago. Smartphone ownership and the use of mobile internet services continues to grow. In non-urban areas, the proportion of Australians with a smartphone as their main mobile tripled in the last four years, from 19 percent to 60 percent. Read the full snapshot on our website.
The latest cutting-edge research which uses in car cameras on real-world drivers has found the key to significantly improve safety is for drivers to keep their eyes on the road and avoid visually taxing tasks that take their concentration off the forward roadway. The single most effective action drivers can take to reduce risks is to put their mobile phone in a cradle. They can also use Bluetooth or hands-free technology, single-button dialling or voice-activated calling so they can keep their eyes on the road ahead. Top tips for safe driving: Never Text it s very dangerous and illegal: Texting drivers take their eyes off the road for 4.6 seconds over a 6-second interval. This means that at 60kph a driver is not watching the road for 75 metres or half the length of the MCG! Always keep your eyes on the road: The clear lesson from the latest research is that keeping your eyes on the road is critical in reducing driving risks from mobile phone use.
Consumers of telecommunications services are reaping the benefits of competition via increased data allowances, new services and lower prices, says the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC). In its annual report for 2014-15, it says that consumer demand for data on mobile networks grew by 35 per cent to 110,000 TB. The increased demand for data is largely due to the popularity of audio-visual streaming services, including the introduction of subscription video on demand services such as Netflix, Presto and Stan, says ACCC Chairman Rod Sims. Service providers have responded by increasing data allowances. During 2014-15, data allowances for post-paid mobile services more than doubled. At the same time, overall prices fell by 0.5 per cent in real terms in 2014-15.
Mobile technology is assisting people with disabilities to find jobs, says Jigsaw founder, Laura O'Reilly. She says mobile technology is helping Jigsaw workers who may not otherwise be in the workforce. Mobile apps can help reading aloud and magnifying words for the vision impaired. Jigsaw is a not-for-profit dedicated assisting people with disabilities through training programs to have the opportunity to work. Mobiles also act as security devices helping Jigsaw participants in travelling to work and providing a vital link if they become lost or get into any trouble. Ms O Reilly says this is important because although working from home is part of the solution of providing meaningful work, mobile devices also help in assisting those with disabilities out of the home into a workplace, which provides the benefits of socialising with others.
Around another 3,000 pre-schoolers across the country will start learning Chinese as a second language through an app the Federal Education Minister has described as vital to Australia unlocking the full potential of our relationship with China. Minister for Education and Training Simon Birmingham said the Turnbull Government is offering more than 300 preschools access to the expanded pilot of the Early Learning Languages programme and Polyglots apps, meaning around 10,000 pre-schoolers will be able to study Chinese, Japanese, Indonesian, French or Arabic. Minister Birmingham said the expanded trial will inspire more children to learn a language and deliver greater long-term engagement with languages as students move through school.
More than 75 schools and 35,000 students have joined MobileMuster and the Roots Shoots school program to learn about mobile phone recycling and raise funds for the Jane Goodall Institute Australia (JGIA) this term. Perth Modern School was the first school to book in a collection last week. Their sustainability team has setup a collection box in their school library and promoted the collection drive throughout the school and local community. JGIA is working with a mobile phone reuse partner to ensure that any working mobiles will be resold and funds raised will go to JGIA to help them continue the great work they do in improving understanding and the welfare of great apes. Mobile phones and accessories that can t be reused will be dismantled and recycled by MobileMuster, the only not-for-profit, Government-accredited mobile phone recycling program in Australia.
Fifty eight per cent of girls and young women receive unwanted, indecent or sexually explicit material such as texts, videos and pornography from online, according to a new survey. The survey of 600 girls and young women reveals that harassing and bullying behaviour online is becoming commonplace and is affecting girls aged 15-19 across Australia. The Office of the Children s eSafety Commissioner has released advice on how to block, delete and report anyone harassing them online or on their phone. See article: https://www.esafety.gov.au/about-the-office/newsroom/blog/australian-girls-online-bullying-and-the-important-role-parents-play See more tips on cyberbullying: http://www.mobiletips.org.au/pages/Mobiles.and.Bullying.-.Tips.for.
Where would you be without your mobile? It's a great way to stay in touch with friends - by texting or via instant messaging apps like Kik or iMessage - as well as social media platforms such as Instagram and Facebook. But bullies can also make use of mobile technologies and in some cases their actions can be illegal and involve the police. Tips on protecting yourself from cyberbullies: Only give your mobile number and usernames for messaging apps and social media to trusted friends. Keep your PINs and passwords secret. Use privacy settings on social networks such as Instragram and Facebook. If you are cyberbullied, don't respond. Stay calm, save any offensive messages and unfriend or block them. Get help! Talk to your parents, teachers, or a trusted adult if you are being bullied. Alternatively, you can call the Kids Helpline on 1800 55 1800 - they are available 24/7.
$43bn in productivity and workforce participation benefits – Australia’s mobile revolution continued
Deloitte Access Economics today released new, and Australia-first, research on the impacts mobile technologies are having on the country s productivity and workforce participation challenges. Mobile nation: Driving workforce participation and productivity is the latest economic analysis commissioned by the Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) for its Mobile nation series.
The Turnbull Government has released the terms of reference for the Productivity Commission's inquiry into the telecommunications Universal Service Obligation (USO), which will examine the role and relevance of these arrangements in an evolving market. The USO has long existed as a regulated consumer safeguard providing access to standard telepHon services and paypHons on reasonable request to all Australians. This has supported social and economic participation, including in areas where those services might not otherwise be provided commercially. With recent advances in technology and market structure changes, including the rollout of the National Broadband Network and the rising consumer uptake of broadband data services, demand for current USO services (standard voice services and paypHons) has reduced and continues to decline.
Adelaide drivers will have access to a world-first trial of a new traffic app, which helps drivers to avoid traffic delays caused by road works and congestion. South Australian Minister for Transport and Infrastructure, Stephen Mulligan, said the locally-developed app was launched today and it would give drivers voice messages via Bluetooth of any traffic delays ahead on their route. He said the app, AddInsight, is the only app in the world that can warn motorists of what is ahead in real-time, making it more accurate and responsive than other apps, which use location services to identify congestion. See story here: Also, for safer driving tips see: www.keepyoureyesontheroad.org.
NSW Fair Trading raids have seized thousands of illegal electrical items, including fake mobile phone chargers, batteries and cables. NSW Fair Trading Commissioner, Rod Stowe, said this week that non-authentic batteries pose a significant fire risk because of their inferior manufacturing quality. The public needs to be vigilant about their safety and check USB phone chargers for approval marks, he said. Check approval marks at www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au Avoid the cheap deal there is a reason it is cheap. Cheap and unapproved electrical products pose a serious health hazard and are a false economy. Before they can be sold, all models of genuine phones and batteries are tested to ensure they are safe for users. They are tested to make sure they meet national and international standards for exposure to radiofrequency emissions. Counterfeit and sub-standard mobile phones, batteries and chargers are not subject to such testing and the safety of fake products cannot be guaranteed.
Doctors have used information from a Fitbit device to shock a man's heart back into rhythm in the first known case of using a fitness tracker for a medical procedure. Engadget reports that such devices have become useful to doctors in tracking cardiovascular health.
The Australian Communications and Media Authority has appointed five new representatives to its Consumer Consultative Forum (CCF). The CCF is a key element in the ACMA s consumer engagement strategy, said acting ACMA Chairman James Cameron. It has been structured to provide an opportunity for consumer representatives to raise issues and suggest solutions with senior representatives of industry, regulators and government policy makers.
Text video messages are being sent to 8000 construction workers in the ACT to provide tips for on-the-job safety. ACT Minister for Workplace Safety and Industrial Relations, Mick Gentleman, said the first of a series of safety videos that will be sent directly to the mobile phones of local construction workers. Communicating with construction workers about health and safety issues has its challenges given the nature of their work. These short videos, that use local tradies, provide safety tips and regulatory compliance information directly to those in the industry. They will be very useful in toolbox talks that are regularly held on site, Minister Gentleman said. This new and innovative way of reaching local tradies will help to improve their understanding of safe work practices and associated regulatory requirements, Minister Gentleman said. The first video to be issued provides advice on working safely with mobile plants, a common cause of injury and even death on work sites.
The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets for the three months increased by 27 per cent over the previous quarter, says the Australian Bureau of Statistics. It says there were 21.3 million mobile handset subscribers in Australia at 31 December 2015. The volume of data downloaded via mobile handsets for the three months to 31 December 2015 was 90,693 Terabytes, which equates to 1.4GB of data downloaded per subscriber per month.
Changes to the spectrum framework are not intended to mandate particular approaches to the use of spectrum, says the Minister for Communications, Senator Mitch Fifield. He told the CommsDay Summit 2016 in Sydney that the Radiocommunications Bill was designed to remove barriers to innovation and encourage industry to manage spectrum in different ways. Submissions to the consultation paper on the Bill are open until April 29, to be followed by additional consultation on a legislation exposure draft. See Minister s speech: http://www.minister.communications.gov.
Buying second-hand mobiles online or at auctions is risky because they may have been reported lost or stolen and IMEI blocked. You risk losing your money because carriers will only unblock a handset for the original lawful owner who reported it lost and stolen and not a second-hand buyer. If you buy a second-hand mobile despite the risk you should check to see if it has been reported lost or stolen and blocked across all Australian mobile telecommunications networks. The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) provides consumers with a website where they can check to see if a mobile has had its International Mobile Equipment Identity (IMEI) blocked. This is its unique 15-digit serial number, which when blocked prevents users making or receiving calls and text messages on all networks in Australia. This service, which is free to consumers but not businesses, has resulted in a nearly 30 per cent drop in handset blocks in the 12 years since it started in 2003-04.