'Tis the season for mobile

It’s that time of year again – here are our top consumer tips from MobileTips for Christmas and the summer holidays.

Using extra data over the summer holidays?

Make sure you understand your plan and its included data allowance. Pay attention to usage alerts from your service provider. If you need more to use more data, contact your service provider to either upgrade your plan or purchase an extra data pack. Read more about managing your data here.

Downloading apps, music or other content?

If you are downloading music, apps, movies or other digital content and choosing to have it billed directly to your mobile bill, you should read our tips about how to manage content purchases here as well as the ACMA’s “101 of Direct Carrier Billing

Going overseas?

If you are lucky enough to be travelling overseas for a holiday, make sure you contact your service provider before you go. It always pays to make sure you are fully informed about the potential costs of international roaming before you go. So visit your service provider’s website and choose a roaming deal that will suit your needs when you make your travel plans and remember to read our tips about international roaming here.

Hitting the road to visit family?

Never text while driving – it’s dangerous and illegal. Always keep your eyes on the road and avoid distractions – keepyoureyesontheroad has tips about how you can drive safely and reduce risks while using a mobile.

What’s on your Xmas shopping list?

You may want to read this before you go shopping for a smartphone for your child. Check out the e-Safety Christmas gift guide for tips on all the latest hi-tech presents for kids this year.

Do some good

Recycle your mobile with MobileMuster this summer and they will donate a meal to someone in need through OzHarvest, Australia’s leading food rescue organisation. They are aiming to recycle 70,000 mobile phones and deliver 70,000 meals by the end of February. Simply recycle at any participating mobile phone retailer stores including Telstra, Optus, Vodafone and Virgin Mobile or visit the MobileMuster website to find your nearest collection point.

Lost your phone?

Remember to treat your smartphone similarly to your wallet – be careful where you leave it and enable PIN protection so that if it is lost or stolen the data stored on it will be safe. If your mobile phone is lost or stolen call your service provider immediately so that you can prevent unauthorised use. AMTA runs a world-leading program that protects consumers by blocking mobile handsets across all networks if they are reported lost or stolen. To have your handset blocked across all networks you need to report the loss or theft to your carrier. See our lost and stolen tips for further details.

Watch out for scams!

At this time of year scams are all too common. Watch out for fake parcel delivery scams and for fake websites selling mobiles and other popular Christmas gifts.  Remember, if the deal seems too good to be true, it’s probably a scam. Read more about these common Christmas scams on the ACCC’s website. Before you go shopping make sure you know how to spot a fake phone so that you don’t waste your money on a sub-standard counterfeit device.

Where to get help when things don’t go to plan

Christmas day is one of the busiest days of the year for mobile service providers in terms of responding to customer service calls as well as monitoring and managing networks to ensure everyone’s text messages, email, social media posts and phone calls to family and friends are delivered. Remember, if you have a problem, there are now several ways to contact your service provider – online and via social media as well as by calling. Sometimes it pays to check your service provider’s online customer support page or social media website first for questions you may have about a new mobile device or service.

If you are unable to resolve a complaint with your service provider you can contact the Telecommunications Industry Ombudsman (TIO) but please note that the TIO’s office and call centre will be closed from 22 Dec and will re-open at 9am on 2 Jan 2018.


AMTA welcomes deployment regulation amendments

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the announcement today from the Minister for Communications and the Arts, Mitch Fifield, regarding the progression of 10 reforms to the regulations governing the deployment of wireless and mobile networks in Australia; as well as further consultation on 11 other proposed reforms. In welcoming the announcement, AMTA Chief Executive, Chris Althaus noted the Government’s reform package will go some way towards enabling the deployment of the next generation 5G mobile networks which are expected to bring significant improvements in speed, quality and capacity for Australia’s data hungry consumers.  But he also noted there was still more to do. “This is a welcome and very important first step - in what we hope will be an ongoing engagement with government and stakeholders to develop a dynamic regulatory framework to meet the deployment challenges of next generation networks.


Final NTP results cannot confirm mobile phone cause cancer in humans

The long awaited final results of the decade-spanning US National Toxicology Program on radiofrequency energy exposure has found no consistent effects in male and female mice and rats exposed to mobile phone signals for their whole life (2 years). However, in a sub-section of the study, researchers found that at the highest doses for the longest periods of time, cellphone radiation might cause a rare cancer in male rats. “High exposure to radiofrequency radiation (RFR) in rodents resulted in tumours in tissues surrounding nerves in the hearts of male rats, but not female rats or any mice, according to draft studies from the National Toxicology Program (NTP),” said a press release from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences where the program is headquartered.

Annual Report 2.jpg

AMTA Annual Report 2017

In 2017, the strong demand for mobile services continues to have an impact on our economy and society as the industry shifts its focus in preparation for 5G, the next generation of mobile technology. 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. 5G Mobile – Enabling Businesses and Economic Growth Report by Deloitte Access Economics found that 5G is expected to further drive Australia’s digital economy. It will add to the already significant (and growing) $34 billion in long-term productivity benefits from mobile; and annual network spend from mobile providers is expected to reach $5.7 billion in FY2017-18. The MCF has focused on an agenda of legislative reform to support the efficient and flexible deployment of network infrastructure.


How will 5G improve network performance

While the technical standards for 5G are still being developed, experts agree that 5G will offer: Latency of less than 1ms; Ability to deliver speeds of up to 10 Gbps and beyond; Energy efficiency in running 1000s of devices; and Improved network capacity by enabling millions of low bandwidth devices to connect simultaneously. Where 4G focussed on providing improved speed and capacity for individual mobile phone users, 5G will enable more industrial applications, and could be a major technological driver in industrial digitalisation. For more information about 5G read our latest report from Deloitte Access Economics. Download the complete report.