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Mobile downloads limp, fixed surges: ABS

More mobile devices suck down less data

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Australians might be buying as many 4G devices as they can get their hands on, but the uptake isn't being reflected in their download habits.

The volume of data downloaded by Australians over mobile connections slid slightly between December 2012 and June 2013, while fixed line downloads continue to surge, according to the latest release from the Australian Bureau of Statistics.

The June 2013 edition of its Internet Activity, Australia publication shows a year-on-year increase in mobile data downloads, from 25,301 TB in June 2012 to 27,232 TB in June 2013, but that was off from a December 2012 peak of over 28,000 TB.

Download volumes are reported by service providers for the three months preceding the benchmark date.

In the 12 months from June 2012 to June 2013, mobile broadband subscriptions topped six million, DSL showed a very small increase (adding 60,000 subscribers to reach 4.787 million), cable networks added 16,000 subscribers (to 934,000), and fibre services reached 115,000.

Meanwhile, as subscribers add their phone and tablet traffic over WiFi to their home networks, the inexhaustible appetite for data delivered over fixed networks continued to grow. Fixed downloads rose by 38 percent over the year, from just over 389,000 TB to nearly 630,000 TB.

On a per-user basis, fixed broadband subscribers download around 24 times as much as mobile users, reflecting the still-high cost of mobile downloads. ®

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