Launching the TIO Annual Report for 2016, Judi Jones, Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman, reported that complaints about mobile services have declined by nearly 30%, to the lowest level in 9 years. Ms Jones credited the mobile industry for the reduction in complaint levels: “Complaints about mobile services have reduced due to better product offerings from Telcos including higher data allowances and increased investment in mobile infrastructure”.
Deloitte has released the results of its ‘Australian Cut’ of its global 2016 Mobile Consumer Survey that includes insights about smartphone use. Key findings from the report: 84% of Australians own a smartphone Australians aged 18-24 had the highest rate of smartphone ownership at 94% While the adoption of smartphones has been increasing over the past few years, it is expected to plateau in coming years Australians on 4G networks are using double the data of non-4G subscribers Click here to download a smartphone snapshot of the Australian report. November 2016
Christmas is around the corner and many parents are considering whether or not to buy their child a smartphone as they head off to high school or enter the final years of primary. No doubt, your kids have told you that everyone else at school already has a phone, and in fact, ACMA research found that 80% of Australian teenagers (aged 14-17) are now using a smartphone. The advice from experts can be confusing when it comes to smartphones and kids as differing opinions are strongly held. While many schools today are embracing technology in the classroom and bring your own device programs are common in Australian high schools; some experts maintain that smartphones can be an unnecessary distraction to learning and make children vulnerable to cyberbullying. Ultimately, deciding when to give your child a phone comes down to the right choice for your family.
Last year MobileMuster collected 76 tonnes of mobile phone components including an estimated 1,030,000 handsets and batteries.
StatCounter Global Stats has reported that global mobile and table internet usage was greater than desktop computer usage for the first time in October 2016. Mobile and table internet usage was 51.3% compared to 48.7% for desktop computers for October. StatCounter CEO, Aodhan Cullen, commented: “This should be a wake up call especially for small businesses, sole traders and professionals to make sure that their websites are mobile friendly.” “Mobile compatibility is increasingly important not just because of growing traffic but because Google favours mobile friendly websites for its mobile search results.” This trend is being driven by emerging markets where mobile devices are more popular than desktop computers. For example, in India, 78% of all internet usage was from mobile. In some markets, however, desktop still leads in terms of internet usage but the gap is not great. For example, desktop sits at 55% in Australia and in the USA it was 58%.
5G – the next generation of mobile technology – promises to completely transform our lives by revolutionising transportation, health, agriculture, education and other sectors of industry. In the recent Mobile Nation report, Deloitte Access Economics predicts: “…that the next major phase of mobile developments is anticipated to launch the capabilities of our mobile devices to significantly greater and previously unimagined heights.” While wide deployment of 5G is not anticipated before 2020, AMTA members are already collaborating and testing 5G technologies as carriers continue to invest in 4G (LTE and LTE-A) networks. Ericsson and Telstra recently conducted outdoor tests of a 5G trial system in Melbourne. The purpose of the trial was to demonstrate 5G capabilities in a real world environment over a live network.
In the post-election period it is time to refocus on the importance of productivity and workforce participation to build Australia’s economic capacity to support, sustain and drive living standards over the long term. Deloitte Access Economics has recently undertaken research that finds mobile telecommunications creates significant benefits when it comes to productivity and workforce participation. The Commonwealth Treasury regularly refers to the ‘Three Ps” of growth – Productivity, Participation and Population. As Australia faces the post-mining boom’s economic challenges to maintain national income and living standards, it’s the “Three Ps” that provide opportunities for other sources of economic growth. Deloitte Access Economics partner Ric Simes says: “Mobile has had a transformative impact on both productivity and labour force participation which, along with population, are two of the ‘Three Ps’ we need to get right in terms of driving Australia’s future economic growth.
Australians' increasing use of digital content is driving changes in mobile phone use, services and infrastructure. According to new research from the ACMA smartphone use is on the rise with the number of mobile services increasing by three per cent in the last year to 32.59 million. The demand for digital content, with popular services like catch-up and subscription video, has also seen the intensity of smartphone use increase. The new research looks at how the telecommunications industry has continued to invest in their networks with 4G now covering 98 per cent of the population. This will continue as the industry works towards the commercial 5G network deployment in 2020. For further details on the research visit the ACMA website here:
2016 was a year where the mobile industry continued to transform and improve the way Australians live, work and play. Mobile continues to have an impact on our economy and society with strong demand for mobile technology and services. AMTA’s latest Annual Report includes the following highlights: As industry prepares for 5G the need for regulatory reform in spectrum management and network infrastructure deployment is increasingly urgent. The growth and development of mobile in Australia plays a key role in Australia’s economic growth by stimulating productivity and workplace participation. Deloitte Access Economics found Australia’s economy is 42.9 billion (2.6% of GDP) bigger in 2015 that it would otherwise be because of the long-term productivity and workforce participation benefits generated by mobile technology take-up.
State departments and local councils are champion recyclers of mobile phones.
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) has announced that Mr Stuart MacIntyre from Optus has today been appointed Chair of AMTA’s Board of Directors. Mr MacIntyre, Director of Optus Business Technology, joined Optus in 2010 after working as Head of Strategy & Business Development in the British Telecom Group Mobility from 2000. He takes over the role of AMTA Chair from Matthew Lobb, VHA’s General Manager, Industry Strategy and Public Policy, who is stepping down after two years as Chair. Mr MacIntyre said he was delighted to be taking on the Chair at such a pivotal moment in the mobile industry’s evolution. “The combination of latest generation mobile networks and devices with an ever- increasing array of applications and services - on the eve of mobile’s 5th Generation (5G) will make this next few years a most significant chapter in the mobile evolution.” Mr MacIntyre said.
We are all used to relying on our mobile in our day to day life; and in an emergency situation your mobile may well be the first thing you reach for. Around 70% of calls to Australia’s emergency number, Triple Zero now originate from a mobile rather than a landline. Australia’s environment is susceptible to the threat of bushfires and extreme weather events and accidents can happen at any time - so it’s important to know the facts about how to make a call to emergency services from your mobile and how to be prepared for an emergency. Call Triple Zero in an emergency Triple Zero (000) is Australia’s primary emergency call number and should be used in urgent medical or life-threatening situations to contact police, fire or ambulance services.
It can be really convenient and easy to use your smartphone to make online purchases. And in some cases, you can also purchase content services (music, games, apps, ringtones, wallpapers, competitions, chat services and other subscriptions) from a third party and have the purchase billed directly to your mobile account or deducted from your prepaid credit. Having a charge for content added to your mobile bill is often referred to as “direct carrier billing”. Similarly, subscribing to a premium 19 SMS service can also lead to charges being added to your bill or deducted from your prepaid account balance and you may not realise how much you are spending until you get your mobile bill or run out of credit. While some of these services can be fun (or even useful!) and it can be really convenient to make use of direct carrier billing for content services, it’s always important to stay on top of how much you are spending and to understand how you will be billed.
Mobile technology touches on almost all aspects of our lives today. In the recent Mobile Nation report, Deloitte Access Economics predicts: “…that the next major phase of mobile developments is anticipated to launch the capabilities of our mobile devices to significantly greater and previously unimagined heights.” 5G – the next generation of mobile technology – promises to completely transform our lives by revolutionising transportation, health, agriculture, education and other sectors of industry. While the impact on daily life and work will be revolutionary, the technological changes will be more of an evolution, as 5G will build on 4G technology and networks. 5G will make networks faster and more responsive and the Internet of Things promises to connect everything – from cars and household appliances to livestock and crops in the field. The benefits for health, education, agriculture and transport logistics will be significant.
Samsung Electronics Australia updated their advice for customers on 1 December 2016.
Teenagers are great adopters of the latest technology and this includes mobiles, Apps, the internet and all that the digital age has to offer. Mobile technology has many benefits for teenagers - it can help them connect with family and friends and develop a sense of belonging amongst their peers; it can keep them safe and in contact with their parents so they can text parents to let them know the school bus is running late. Mobiles can also be used in an educational setting and be used as a tool to create and edit digital content. However, the same technology can also be used by some to cause harm to others in ways ranging from cyberbullying to inappropriate content as well as more predatory and even criminal behaviour. There are risks associated with being online and teenagers and their parents need to be aware of the dangers so they can help minimise these risks.
Australia's mobile carriers have all announced that they will be switching off 2G networks from Dec 2016- Sept 2017.