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Mobile data usage climbs but fixed-line still king, ACCC says

Mobile data usage climbs but fixed-line still king, ACCC says

Mobile downloads grew 45 per cent in 2017-18

Australians’ appetite for data is not abating reveal figures included by the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission in its latest communications report.

The annual ACCC report on the communications market reveals that Australian download volumes grew 29 per cent over 2017-18. Data downloaded using mobile devices grew by 45 per cent, compared to 27 per cent growth over fixed-line services. However, fixed-line broadband still accounted for the overwhelming majority — 91 per cent — of downloads, the ACCC said.

The increased use of data-hungry streaming and social media services on mobile devices has been accompanied by increased quotas from Australian telcos, according to the report.

The average data allowance for a post-paid mobile service was 14.2GB in 2017-18, up 91 per cent on the prior year. Allowances for prepaid mobile services grew 153 per cent to 11.5GB, the ACCC said.

The price of mobile services dropped 8.3 per cent. Fixed broadband prices were down 1.5 per cent.

“Consumers are currently benefitting from falling prices and increased data allowances,” ACCC chair Rod Sims said. “The growth in data inclusions in fixed and mobile plans supports, and is potentially driving, the increased consumption of data by consumers.”

NBN overtakes DSL

The National Broadband Network last year became Australia’s largest fixed-line network, according to the ACCC.

Earlier this week NBN Co said that more than 99.5 per cent of homes and businesses can either order a service on the new network or design or construction work to connect them to the NBN has commenced.

More than 8.1 million premises are currently able to order an NBN service.

Sims said the ACCC would continue to monitor the NBN retail market, noting that there appeared to be a lessening of competition for entry-level plans.

The ACCC is currently assessing whether to step in and create NBN wholesale service standards.

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Tags TelecommunicationsAustralian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC)

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