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.
The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) is pleased to announce that smartphone manufacturer, OPPO, has joined the mobile telecommunications industry’s official recycling program, MobileMuster, which provides a free take back program for old mobiles and accessories, keeping them out of landfill. The Chief Executive Officer of AMTA, Chris Althaus says, “The mobile telecommunications industry is delighted to welcome global smartphone manufacturer OPPO to our world-class recycling program. “MobileMuster’s members promise to keep old mobiles out of landfill and recycle them in a responsible, secure and environmentally sound way, placing reusable commodities back into the supply chain. OPPO joins mobile handset manufacturers Microsoft, Motorola, Samsung, HTC, Huawei, ZTE, Alcatel and network operators Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile who work in collaboration to provide a free national recycling program to their customers.
Victoria Police are raising awareness of IMEI blocking in an effort to fight mobile phone theft. With nearly 13 700 mobile phones reported stolen in Victoria last year, it’s important for customers to report thefts to their mobile service provider immediately so that they phone’s IMEI can be blocked, making the phone useless for thieves. See full story here:
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.
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.
ARPANSA says there is no established scientific evidence that the use of mobile phones causes any health effects
A large number of studies have been performed to investigate whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. It is the assessment of The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) and other national and international health authorities, including the World Health Organization (WHO), that there is no established scientific evidence that the use of mobile phones causes any health effects. However the possibility of harm cannot be completely ruled out. See full article here.
ARPANSA's latest literature review reports on new Australian study which finds no increase in brain cancer with mobile phone use
In The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA's) regular EMR literature survey for May 2016, ARPANSA report on the recent Australian study by Professor Simon Chapman which asks the question "Has the incidence of brain cancer risen in Australia since the introduction of mobile phones 29 years ago?". The paper pubslished in cancer epidermology compared mobile phone ownership with the incidence of brain cancer in Australia. In the study, brain cancer incidence rates from 1982 to 2012 are compared with the number of mobile phone accounts in the Australian population from 1987 to 2012. The study found that although mobile phone use increased from 0% to 94% during the 30 year period brain cancer incidence rates were stable. This finding is consitent with previous studies in the US, UK. New Zealand and Nordic countries. See ARPANSA's commentary here: Full paper may be found here:
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.
The mobile industry has a strong interest in helping to develop Australia’s STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) capability. AMTA recently met with the AIIA (Australian Information Industry Association). The AIIA has a strong track record in promoting the need for STEM as a key priority in education and has produced a STEMS skills policy position statement. The policy statement focusses on the need for government and industry collaboration to drive a holistic, inclusive and integrated approach to STEM in education and training so that we build an appropriately qualified workforce. The AIIA is also working with other stakeholders to outline the need for a whole of government policy approach to replace currently fragmented efforts to build STEM capability. AIIA collaborated with NICTA and ACS on a on a joint research paper that outlines the need for STEM at both primary and secondary school levels.
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.
Older Australians are increasingly embracing digital life according to the latest ACMA research. The ACMA’s - “Digital lives of older Australians”- research snapshot looks at online engagement for Australians aged over 65 and the findings may be surprising for some. The results showed that older Australians are increasingly going online and accessing the internet at a higher rate than their peers in the USA and UK. Key findings of the research: 71% of older Australians went online in the three months to June 2015, with 79% of older Australians accessing the internet at some point in their lives. While older Australians access the internet less frequently than younger people, 85% of them still go online at least once per day and 50% of them access the internet three or more times per day Older Australians overwhelmingly prefer to access the internet from home (98%), however they are keen users of tablets (18%) compared to younger adults (16%).
A coalition of Australian road safety authorities, research institutes, motoring clubs, peak medical bodies, insurance and telecommunications companies has today released the first ever comprehensive national Mobile Phone Use in Vehicles Policy Guide (Guide) to protect workers from unsafe driving conditions. The Guide and Safe Use of Mobiles in Vehicles (SUMV) campaign launched by the National Road Safety Partnership Program (NRSPP), outlines how organisations can manage the risk of smartphone distraction in vehicles by developing and successfully implementing a policy tailored to their business environment and worker needs. Australian businesses are being urged to take advantage of the Guide to ensure their workers are aware of unsafe driving practices and organisations are providing a safe vehicle environment to help minimise risk. See the full press release here
A campaign aimed at changing behaviour around the growing use of mobile phones while driving has been launched in Melbourne. Created by Swinburne University design student Chloë Young and rolled out at Swinburne’s Hawthorn campus, ‘Live the moment’ encourages young drivers to take their eyes off their phones and keep them on the road. The campaign, which includes the livethemoment.info website, attention-grabbing posters and social media channels, asks young people to ‘promise to put my phone away when I’m in the driver’s seat, to let the text wait and the call to go to voicemail and to always enjoy the journey.’ Those who take the pledge and post it to the campaign Facebook or Instagram pages – when they are not driving, obviously – go into a draw to win music festival tickets. See full article here
Although it is the consensus opinion of leading national and international health authorities around the world that there is no scientific evidence that the use of mobile phones causes any health effects, some consumers may still wish to reduce their exposure to radiofrequency fields from their mobile device. Both the World Health Organisation (WHO) and Australia’s Federal health authority in this area, the Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA), provide sound science-based information on ways to reduce your exposure. These include using a handsfree accessory or speaker mode, reducing the number or length of calls, and making calls in areas of good reception to allow the device to transmit at reduced power. ARPANSA does not recommend the use of commercial ‘protective’ or ‘neutralising’ devices and the WHO does not consider them to be effective for reducing radiofrequency exposure.
Samsung Electronics Australia updated their advice for customers as at 11 October 2016.
Notice of AMTA Annual General Meeting 2016 The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) Annual General Meeting will be held on Thursday 17th November, 2016 at Telstra in Sydney at 11.45am General business includes: Receipt of accounts and reports Confirmation of auditor Confirmation of new board members Confirmation of office bearers AMTA Chair’s report Other Business Please email firstname.lastname@example.org to RSVP and for location details.
MobileMuster, the only not-for-profit government accredited recycling program in Australia, is proud to announce the winners of their Workplace Recycling Awards. The eight award winners from across Australia were dominated by government organisations highlighting the strong partnerships developed within this sector. Spyro Kalos, Recycling Manager, MobileMuster, said “We partner with a number of government agencies like the Department of Defence and South Australia Police who require a secure and responsible recycling service to support their business operations.” The Government’s accreditation, which MobileMuster acquired in 2014, gives the program a green tick of approval and recognises that MobileMuster adheres to the highest safety and ethical standards when recycling old mobiles and accessories which is important to our workplace partners.
In the WHO's most recent fact sheet the WHO says: "A large number of studies have been performed over the last two decades to assess whether mobile phones pose a potential health risk. To date, no adverse health effects have been established as being caused by mobile phone use". See full article here:
The Australian Radiation Protection and Nuclear Safety Agency (ARPANSA) provides a unique opportunity for the public and community to talk directly with our scientists on issues about radiation exposure and protection in Australia This service offers people the opportunity to find answers to science related questions that they have been unable to find using other resources. ARPANSA encourage you to first explore their website to find your answers or to send an enquiry via their online contact form. Their phones are open from 11:00 am to 12:30 pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays (Melbourne AEST), except during public holidays. View full article here
Australia's mobile carriers have all announced that they will be switching off 2G networks from Dec 2016- Sept 2017.
Australian researcher speaks in The Conversation and dismisses alarmist claims about health effects from mobile phone use
A new study reported in The Conversation says that there is no increase in brain cancer across 29 years of mobile phone use in Australia. Professor Simon Chapman, Emeritus Professor in Public Health, University of Sydney, dismissed recent claims by US scientist Devra Davis that Australians faced an increase in brain cancer because of the widespread use of mobile telecommunications in the community. Prof Chapman said: We have had mobiles in Australia since 1987. Some 90 per cent of the population use them today and many of these have been used for a lot longer than 20 years. But we are seeing no rise in the incidence of brain cancer against the background rate.