Smartphone and data uptake results in 29 million mobile services in Australia

Strong uptake of smartphones and mobile telecommunications data services are dominant trends in today’s release of new figures from the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), which show there are more than 29 million mobile services in operation in Australia.


Australian Mobile Telecommunications Association (AMTA) Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the official ACMA figures showed that the number of mobile services in operation had increased by 13 per cent during 2010-11 to 29.28 million.


“Given Australia’s population of 22.7 million, this means that there is a mobile penetration rate (mobile phone services per head of population) of 129 per cent,” he said. “That means in Australia there are nearly 130 mobile services in operation for every 100 people.


“To put this in comparison, only 10 years go Australia’s mobile penetration rate was about 58 per cent in 2000-01 and in a decade it has soared by a factor of 2.2 times.”


The ACMA‘s Communications Report 2010-11 was tabled in Parliament yesterday by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy.


Mr Althaus said increasingly mobile telecommunications are at the centre of people’s lives, providing mobility, connectivity and productivity benefits - with mobile broadband the stand-out performer.


The AMA figures show that during 2010-11 mobile wireless broadband services increased by 39 per cent to reach 4.79 million services and the number of mobile handset services increased by 9 per cent to 4.49 million services at June 2011.


Mr Althaus: “Everywhere you look mobile networks, devices and applications and services have been evolving very rapidly, presenting new challenges and opportunities for industry, governments and consumers alike.


“The rapid uptake of smartphones and explosion of applications highlights the demand and growth in mobile data traffic which is currently doubling every 9 – 12 months.


“Just as significant growth in road traffic leads to investment in new roads – so the huge current and projected growth in mobile traffic must be supported by new mobile infrastructure.”


Given future demand expectations, industry and the government are heavily focussed on expanding the capacity of mobile telecommunications infrastructure - particularly allocation of additional radiofrequency spectrum and upgrading mobile networks.


“These new resources are critical to meeting consumers’ demands for latest-generation mobile services and applications.” Mr Althaus said.


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