Rising Australian 3G mobile phone uptake drives flow-on economic benefits, new report finds

Rising mobile data traffic flowing from the increasing uptake of 3G mobile telecommunications will contribute an additional $2.1 billion to Australia’s economic output in 2010, a new Access Economics study finds.

The report Australian Mobile Telecommunications Industry Economic Significance and Contribution 2008 says the mobile telecommunications industry plays a key role in the Australian economy because the enabling technology drives productivity across all sectors, which results in its indirect contribution outweighing its direct impact on the economy.

“The economic benefits created by the industry are far greater than the resources it draws from the economy,” it says. “This contrasts with many other industries, for which the major component of economic contribution derives from the industry’s own usage of economic resources.

“In this regard the mobile phone industry is shown to be ‘punching above its weight’.”

The report’s findings include:

The direct contribution of mobile telecommunications to the Australian economy was $6.5 billion in 2006-07 or 0.62% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). This was up 4% on 2005-06.

The indirect or flow-on benefit of mobile telecommunications to the broader Australian economy was $7.7 billion. The indirect contribution is greater than the direct impact.

Combining the direct and indirect contributions, the mobile telecommunications industry contributed $14.2 billion to the Australian economy. This means that the total GDP in Australia would have been $14.2 billion lower if mobile telecommunications did not exist.

The Access Report was released this evening by the Minister for Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy, Senator Stephen Conroy, at the Australian Mobile Telecommunication Association’s Technology Showcase at Parliament House, Canberra.

The AMTA Showcase gives MPs, Senators and senior bureaucrats the opportunity to see the latest mobile phone technology, which streamlines business processes, reduces costs and increases the productivity of the workforce through anywhere, anytime connectivity.

AMTA Chief Executive Officer, Chris Althaus, said the Access Report, commissioned by AMTA, showed the significance of the mobile telecommunications sector as a direct contributor and an enabling technology across all facets of the economy.

“As important as the economic bottom line is, the industry takes a wider view of the impact of mobiles on consumers’ lifestyles and the way they interact with family, friends, work and the community,” he said.

The range of AMTA’s community programs to assist the safe, responsible and environmentally sustainable use of mobile phones are contained in a new publication, Staying Connected, which also contains the Access Economic Report’s executive summary.

The reports can be found at www.amta.org.au

For more information contact Randal Markey, AMTA, (02) 62396555 or 0421240550