ACMA report on economic impact of mobile broadband

3 April 2014

The Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) welcomes the release of new research exploring the increasingly influential role of mobile broadband services in the Australian economy and society.

The report, “The economic impacts of mobile broadband on the Australian economy, from 2006 to 2013”, prepared for the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA) says:

“The best indicator of the ‘value’ of mobile broadband to Australians is how it has changed the amount of goods and services that households are able to purchase – that is, material standards of living. This is measured by household consumption. 

“We estimate that by 2013, mobile broadband has increased the amount of goods and services that could be purchased per capita by $652 or $14.8 billion in total.”

The report, undertaken by The Centre for International Economics, found that mobile broadband had led to a $33.8 billion increase in Australia’s economic activity in 2013.

It says that mobile broadband has “wrought” substantial change across the Australian economy and has been taken up rapidly by Australian households and business.

In response, AMTA CEO Chris Althaus, said: “This report provides important new insights into the productivity-enabling capacity of mobile broadband and the increasingly influential roles mobile telecommunications play in our economy and society.

“In highlighting the economic impacts the report also signals the challenges for government and industry to work on policy settings that maximise the opportunities to leverage the extraordinary potential of mobile broadband.

"AMTA believes to maximise the benefits of mobility in a digital economy it is vital that industry has access to adequate spectrum to ensure that mobile network operators have capacity to meet consumer demand for faster speed and bandwidth-hungry mobile data applications and services.”

The report says that the overlap between the impacts of technological change and the impacts of government policy are directly relevant to the mobile telecommunications sector. 

Spectrum, the allocation of which is currently largely at the Australian Government’s direction, has been noted by the mobile broadband sector as a critical issue. The allocation of spectrum will be one issue that could potentially constrain or reduce the future economic value of mobile broadband.”

For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, on (02) 6239 6555 or 0421 240 550