Smartphones are expected to drive significant future growth
in mobile communications and further unlock major opportunities in the
digital economy for innovative content and applications, according to a
report on technology developments by the Australian Communications and
The report, Technology developments in the digital economy, is an
analysis of major developments in information and communications
technologies and explores the implications of these changes.
‘Digital technologies are really starting to have an enormous effect
on the interactivity of individuals and organisations that now
communicate using multiple forms of media in environments that are
mobile, fast, and virtual,’ said ACMA Chairman, Chris Chapman.
‘The report assists the ACMA, government, industry and the community
to understand just how rapid is the pace of technology change, how it
is impacting Australia and how we might ensure all Australians reap the
Three broad groups of technologies are relevant to the development
of networks and services that support the digital economy—these are
infrastructure technologies, smart technologies and the developments in
the digital community, the report says.
Infrastructure developments have continued the trend towards high
bandwidth network upgrades and the transition to internet protocol
platforms, with many of the network improvements making their way into
the residential environment through home networking technologies.
Sustainability concerns are creating a new convergence between the
telecommunications industry and utilities and are driving smart
applications’ development. Smart technologies are being used to control
the growing demands of the information and communications sector as
well as manage the exponential increase in information made available
through the internet.
The combining of location-based information with other information
sources in the digital community has provided a range of rich
commercial and social applications that provide features beyond those
of the original information sources—but the consumer experience of
these enhanced features is equally raising interest in their privacy
and security impacts.
‘The technologies covered in the paper reflect a snapshot in time in
what is a dynamic and complex environment,’ Mr Chapman said. ‘The paper
acknowledges the fundamental role of technologies as the foundation of
convergent communications and media services in the digital economy.’
A copy of the report is available on the ACMA’s website.
Technology developments in the digital economy updates research from the ACMA’s Trends in communications and media technology, applications and use report released in March 2009.
This body of work is one part of a broader research program focusing on technology developments.
Other recent ACMA research reports discussing technology
developments are available from the ACMA website and include the
recently released IPTV and internet video delivery models (June 2010)
and Community research into attitudes towards the use of mobile payment
services (July 2010).
The ACMA is Australia’s regulator for broadcasting, the internet,
radiocommunications and telecommunications. The ACMA’s strategic intent
is to make communications and media work in Australia’s public interest.