Changes to communications landscape accelerating

| February 16, 2019

Australians’ ever-increasing appetite for data-hungry video services is transforming the communications landscape.

This is a key finding of the Australian Communications and Media Authority’s Communications report 2017–18, tabled in federal parliament yesterday (15 February 2019). The annual ACMA report examines the current telecommunication and media environment, including the latest in industry innovations and consumer trends.

“Over 50 per cent of Australian adults have subscribed to video services such as Netflix and Stan since their Australian launch in 2015, indicating just how fast the communications market can change,” said ACMA Chair Nerida O’Loughlin.

Other key findings show that Australian adults are increasingly diversifying the use and mobility of their connected devices. In particular:

40 per cent of adults used five or more devices in 2018, up from 23 per cent in 2014
87 per cent of adults accessed the internet through their mobile phone in 2018, up by 10 percentage points from 2014
16 per cent of adults only used a mobile connection to access the internet in 2018, down from 23 per cent in 2014
41 per cent of adults only used a mobile phone to make voice calls at home, up from 27 per cent in 2014.
‘Consumer demands have led to significant investments in underlying infrastructure by industry and government,’ said Ms O’Loughlin.

These investments include:

the Australian Government contributed equity of over $24 billion between 2013–14 and 2017–18 towards the National Broadband Network (NBN) rollout
the Australian Government has spent $220 million to deliver more than 800 new mobile base stations since 2013
industry spent around $5 billion between 2013 and 2018 at spectrum auctions, in addition to maintenance and upgrade of their mobile networks.
“Interconnectivity and mobility are now integral to the work, home and social lives of all Australians,” said Ms O’Loughlin.

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