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Internet downloads on mobiles in Australia surges: ABS

Tuesday, 8 October 2013 | By Gavin Lower

Australian Bureau of Statistics figures reveal Australians are increasingly using mobile phones to access the internet, with data download volumes showing “explosive growth”.


The ABS says in a statement nearly 20,000 terabytes of data was downloaded by Australians through mobile handsets in the three months to June, up 43% from its previous survey which covered the three months to December 2012.


“Download volumes for mobile handsets have really seen explosive growth," ABS spokeswoman Lesley Martin says.


“While it's true that the number of mobile handset internet subscribers has also increased, that's been much smaller growth."


The ABS says the number of mobile handset internet subscribers grew by 13% to 19.6 million subscribers.


The growth in mobile internet downloads highlights the importance for online retailers to customise their offerings for mobile sales.


Martin notes that while mobile downloads have surged, they still account for only a small share of the total 657,000 terabytes of data downloaded by Australians in the three months to June.


She says Australia has 12,358,000 internet subscribers – not including mobile handsets – up 3% on year.


The ABS says Australia has 6.2 million mobile wireless broadband connections such as a dongle or tablet SIM card, 4.8 million DSL connections, and 227,000 on dial-up.